Amazon ordered not to support the police with its surveillance technologies

SAN FRANCISCO | associations fighting against racial inequalities are urging Amazon to cease all technological collaboration with the american police, as protests continue in the United States against police violence and racism.

The american giant of online commerce, the cloud (remote computing) and technologies of feeds and take advantage of the systematic injustice, inequality and violence against black communities “, accuses their petition put online Tuesday.

Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for the past two years Amazon to discontinue providing its facial-recognition technology to the police.

“Amazon has long sought to be the technological backbone of the police and ICE (police, immigration, editor’s NOTE) in actively promoting Amazon Web Services (cloud computing), its software for facial recognition (Rekognition) and surveillance cameras (Ring),” details the press release distributed by Athena, a collective of associations that emphasize the negative impacts of the group, the environment working conditions.

The activists accuse Amazon of ” contribute to the criminalization of communities of color “.

Two weeks ago, the death of George Floyd, an African-American was asphyxiated under the knee of a white policeman has led to a wave of anger and outrage across the United States.

In the streets and on the social networks, the demonstrators require in-depth reforms of the police and of surveillance systems which they believe that they target Blacks disproportionately.

“The treatment is brutal and not fair to black people in this country must be stopped,” tweeted the group, on 31 may. “We are in solidarity with the black community — our employees, our customers and our partners — in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.”

“The tweets and donations symbolic mean nothing from a company in collusion with the agents and institutions of systemic racism,” responded Myaisha Hayes, director of strategy at MediaJustice, one of the signatories of the petition.

Last October, Amazon had acknowledged that “like all technologies, the facial recognition (…) can be ill-used” and ensured that its teams were providing guidance to all clients in the (software) Rekognition, ” including the forces of law and order, the proper way of using it.”

Amazon did not immediately react to the demands of the AFP.

On Monday, IBM announced to suspend the sale of software of face recognition for identification purposes and is ” opposed to the use of any technology for the monitoring of mass, racial profiling, and violations of rights and freedoms human base “.

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