American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has tested Amazon’s facial recognition technology and the results were not good because it misidentified members of Congress as Criminals. According to a report, to check the system accuracy ACLU scanned the faces of 535 people of Congress against 25,000 public criminals. To be specific Amazon’s scanner made 28 false matches which raise serious concerns about the Recognition efficiency to be used by police.
ACLU said in a statement, “An identification — whether accurate or not — could cost people their freedom or even their lives, Congress must take these threats seriously, hit the brakes, and enact a moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition.”
Amazon told the new york times, ACLU failed to use the program as it can’t operate it on the proposed settings because at this setting the error tolerance should be on 95 percent for law enforcement, but ACLU set it at 80 percent.
An Amazon repreentative said in an interview to the verge, “While 80% confidence is an acceptable threshold for photos of hot dogs, chairs, animals, or other social media use cases, it wouldn’t be appropriate for identifying individuals with a reasonable level of certainty.”
ACLU seems to engage in raising debates regarding Amazon’s facial recognition, there is no law which could limit the union or even police to set the zero-error tolerance rate on the lower percentage. Plus, none of the Government administration has an interest in facial recognition software to be deployed in the U.S. Due to this the company faced severe criticism of selling this software to law enforcement agencies.
For this Sen. Markey (D-MA), Rep. Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Rep. DeSaulnier (D-CA) has sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos inquiring about the list of agencies who are currently using this technology, along with authorized safeguard policy for using it.
Serious concerns have been raised about the dangers facial recognition can pose to privacy and civil rights, especially when it is used as a tool of government surveillance,” the letter reads.
Meanwhile, Amazon is also advising people to use rekognition system and deploy the software in a responsible manner to almost everywhere as it ensures safety.