May 22, 2018 / 4:32 PM / 3 months ago

Civil rights groups criticize Amazon's facial recognition system

May 22 (Reuters) - Several U.S. civil liberties groups on Tuesday complained that Amazon.com Inc’s real-time facial recognition system, Rekognition, is helping the government with surveillance targeting large crowds, violating civil and digital rights.

"We demand that Amazon stop powering a government surveillance infrastructure that poses a grave threat to customers and communities across the country," several organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote in a letter here to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

Amazon Rekognition helps to analyze tens of millions of faces and detect up to 100 faces in challenging crowded photos and counts the Orlando police department among its customers. (amzn.to/2GEdHOl)

“This product (Rekognition) poses a grave threat to communities, including people of color and immigrants, and to the trust and respect Amazon has worked to build,” the letter said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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