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[liberationtech] Invitation to Sign Open Letter regarding Amazon's Rekognition

Peter Asaro peterasaro at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jun 27 08:40:42 PDT 2018


(Apologies for Cross-posting)

Invitation to Sign an Open Letter from Academics and Researchers to Amazon

Amazon 
<https://gizmodo.com/amazon-workers-demand-jeff-bezos-cancel-face-recognitio-1827037509>workers 
have come out against Rekognition, an AI-driven face recognition 
technology  offered through Amazon's AWS cloud service. This type of 
low-cost face recognition technology 
<https://medium.com/s/story/amazon-needs-to-stop-providing-facial-recognition-tech-for-the-government-795741a016a6>threatens 
to make every individual identifiable in any private or public space 
with cameras, and opens up a host of severe threats to civil 
liberties and human rights. The workers have been 
<http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/18/technology/amazon-facial-recognition/index.html>joined 
by Amazon shareholders, and 
<https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/22/coalition-letter-amazon-regarding-facial-recognition-system-rekognition>a 
coalition of over 70 civil rights and human rights groups.

While Rekognition  is not (yet) a military application, it is being 
sold to police departments, and US Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement, and Amazon provides essential cloud services (with 
embedded AI features) also to the 
<https://www.palantir.com/solutions/defense/>Palantir company which 
in turn provides AI services to police departments and the US 
military, including an 
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-09/peter-thiel-s-palantir-wins-876-million-u-s-army-contract>$879M 
contract for the US Army's new intelligence IT system.

<https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/some-quick-thoughts-on-the-public-discussion-regarding-facial-recognition-and-amazon-rekognition-this-past-week/>Amazon's 
response to these protests has been weak, saying people shouldn't use 
its Amazon Rekognition software illegally, but offering no mechanism 
for oversight as to how their services are used.

And so we are asking you to sign on to an Open Letter to Amazon 
management, calling on them to stop providing their Rekognition 
system to governments and law enforcement, to stop providing AI cloud 
services to companies that provide such services to police 
departments and militaries, including Palantir, and to establish 
ethical guidelines and transparency and accountability measures for 
the AI services that they do provide.

You can read the full letter and add your signature here:

<https://www.icrac.net/open-letter-to-amazon-against-police-and-government-use-of-rekognition/>https://www.icrac.net/open-letter-to-amazon-against-police-and-government-use-of-rekognition/

Sincerely,

Peter Asaro, Kelly Gates, Woodrow Hartzog, Lilly Irani, Evan 
Selinger, and Lucy Suchman



______________________________________

Peter M. Asaro, PhD | THE NEW SCHOOL
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
DIRECTOR OF THE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN MEDIA STUDIES
SCHOOL OF MEDIA STUDIES
<http://www.newschool.edu/>THE NEW SCHOOL
79 5th Avenue, Room 1619, New York, NY 10003, USA
p | 212 229 8903 x 3902, <mailto:asarop at newschool.edu>asarop at newschool.edu
f | 212 229 5357
The New School

<mailto:asarop at newschool.edu>asarop at newschool.edu
www.peterasaro.org
<http://www.twitter.com/PeterAsaro>@PeterAsaro

AFFILIATE SCHOLAR
CENTER FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY
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AFFILIATE MEMBER
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<http://ethicsandtechnology.eu/member/asaro-p-peter/>UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE
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