back to article Anonymous Amazonian demands withdrawal of face-recog kit from sale

Seemingly annoyed at being ignored, an anonymous person claiming to be an Amazon employee has repeated demands for the online behemoth to stop selling its Rekognition product to American police agencies. In an anonymous letter posted on the Medium blogging site, the author – who claimed to be a current Amazon worker – alleges …

TRT
Silver badge

You know, when you said Amazonian...

I was expecting some interesting legal article about a remote tribe who believe that photographs imprison their souls.

7
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: You know, when you said Amazonian...

I was hoping for a tribe of some scantily clad, horse riding women... which wold kill those trying to spy on them....

8
0
TRT
Silver badge

Re: You know, when you said Amazonian...

Good call. Can we have that article, please?

1
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Exasperating

No matter how long I live, I will never get used to the idea that people will knowingly assist those intent on harming others. In cases like this, that's likely to be harm to many millions of people - including those that engage in such assistance!

7
5
Big Brother

Re: Exasperating

... never get used to the idea that people will knowingly assist those intent on harming others.

Indeed ...

But it's been happening since the start of time.

It's always been about and only about power and having more of it.

First it was land, then it was money and now information, all of these = power.

Now that we live in this 21st. century ultra-capitalist world with no borders it's become worse.

And it will get much worse before things start to change.

But by then the damage done will be undoable.

Now I'll step off my box, put it under my arm and quietly go get myself an espresso.

While I still can.

11
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Exasperating

Not so much ultra-capitalist as feudal-capitalist.

7
1
Silver badge

Re: Exasperating

Before land, it was people.

0
0
Flame

If you don't like it then resign

If you feel that strongly about it then leave. No one forces you to work for that immoral company.

And try to get used to the fact that your personal feelings about something aren't so important that they override the decision of the rest of the company however many times you repeat them.

9
16
Coat

Re: If you don't like it then resign

"If you don't like it then resign

If you feel that strongly about it then leave. No one forces you to work for that immoral company.

And try to get used to the fact that your personal feelings about something aren't so important that they override the decision of the rest of the company however many times you repeat them."

A lot of decent people left Nazi Germany before WW2. That improved things, didn't it?

8
5
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: If you don't like it then resign

So basically, if you dont like helping bad things to happen, you can go and starve?

Anyone who can remember Sunday (Saturday or Friday) school will not remember being told to run away when people are doing wrong. I think it went something like "Don't join in and stop it happening."

2
0
Gold badge

Re: If you don't like it then resign

"A lot of decent people left Nazi Germany before WW2. That improved things, didn't it?"

Given the contributions that a few of them made to the Allied war effort, I rather suspect it did make a difference. On the other hand, I'm not sure that all *that* many (in percentage terms) actually left.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: If you don't like it then resign

If you're a whiny loser, you should instead stay and gum up the works...there was also a bit of that in WWII IIRC...

1
1

Re: If you don't like it then resign

Working on software for the department of defence is exactly like being a rocket scientist for nazi germany, the list of similarities is endless..........

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Ha ha no

Employee activism might be a thing at Google and Facebook, but Amazon (or say Apple) are not that kind of companies.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Amazon... Getting more like BB every day

Is their no end to them and their pals slurping on us and our lives.

Just say NO to Bezos.

1
1
Silver badge

The blog author isn't thinking much

Righho, so we have anonymous letter (text parsing and grammar that can be evaluated).

A claim to be a current Amazon employee

A previous letter to management (more text, presumably anon)

Some known or predictable political views

Staff wiki contribution (presumably anon)

I'd have thought any competent big data company could come up with a very short list of people who could be the author, and a bit of triangulation against in-house data, and the perp is unmasked, and finds themselves being escorted off the premises.

Being anonymous in this day and age requires hard work, and the avoidance of repetitive behaviour, sadly.

4
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

"Why are we building this?" wails the letter's author. "We all have the right to go about our lives without being constantly monitored by the government."

Or by mega-corporations like...ahem...Amazon. /me wonders how much said employee was willing to work on corporo-surveillance (oh, excuse me, I forgot to use the sanitized and politically correct term, "analytics").

2
0
Gold badge

Wrong target

Even if successful, this will only stop Amazon from winning the contract to supply eager buyers with this kit. Worse, in a few years time this product will probably be something that a graduate student could throw together with standard libraries, commodity hardware and a big enough budget.

The way to prevent everyone from being spied upon is to persuade your government not to do it. They, and only they, have the power to actually make that (not) happen.

You can try to protect people in other jurisdictions by banning the creation of such kit, but other countries have clever people too so this is basically just stalling for time. In the long term, you need to either invade those countries and overthrow that government (a strategy which doesn't have a great track record in recent years but has worked in the past) or hope that the people there rise up and do the job for you (which has a slightly better track record, but you may have to wait a bit).

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Wrong target

Ken: This ^^^^

You can't keep science/tech a secret for very long, or especially just one part - it all hangs together, which is one reason we like the scientific method.

The whole fooforah around crypto - same issues. They'd have to make good crypto illegal to have their way at all. but then it'd be all too obvious about that police state thing.

As you said, wrong target.

Of course, human nature, which governments express often the worst parts of - doesn't change much either...even in revolts as in that old UK band the Who mentioned.

"Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss". If your're lucky and don't get the French Revolution iterations instead.

1
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018