Staff concerns over sale of facial-recognition software dismissed by CEO, Amazon Web Services

Employees of Amazon had disapproved of the Company selling facial-recognition software to law-enforcement agencies.


Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services, dismissed the staff’s concerns over the sale of facial-recognition technology to immigration and law-enforcement agencies.

Jassy’s argument was that Amazon’s terms of service will ensure that the software is not misused.

This explanation followed a signature campaign in the organisation, wherein over 450 employees had signed a letter to Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon demanding that the Company refrain from selling ‘Rekognition’, its facial-recognition software to law-enforcement officials. The staff was concerned that the technology will be misused against the citizens, especially immigrants, some of whom were separated from their undocument offspring not long ago.

However, re-emphasising the significance and value of the tool at an official meeting, Jassy revealed that the concern was not shared by everyone in the organisation, and that the management will go ahead with its plan to offer the technology to government agencies.
Jassy argued that any technology can be misused by the users but that Amazon will do its bit by ensuring a clause of ‘responsible use’ in its terms & services. The rest will and should be monitored and taken care of by the Government.

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