back to article Amazon, maker of racist and sexist facial recog, to suggest regulations for facial recog systems

Amazon is drafting proposals for the regulation of facial recognition technology. Founder Jeff Bezos told reporters at the company's annual Alexa devices launch this week that the company's public policy team is working on proposed regulations for the controversial technology. "Our public policy team is actually working on …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "it makes a lot of sense to regulate that"

    Yes, it makes a lot of sense to be the first to draft legislation that will ensure that you can spy on people's lives and derive profit from that invasion of privacy without being bothered by pesky law enforcement rules. So you want to set the rules in your favor.

    The root of all the issues the US has is the ability for companies to influence law. That should really be nerfed after the next revolution.

    1. DerekCurrie
      Devil

      Re: "it makes a lot of sense to regulate that"

      Law-By-Lobbyists.

      The rule of We The Corporations.

      AKA Corporatocracy.

      :-P

  2. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    "It's a perfect example of something that has really positive uses" as long as you're racist, sexist and (probably) bigotted. And not just actual coppers, but others with Napolean complexes, such as shopping centre/mall cops, car park monitors etc.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Easy recognition chart.

      "It's a perfect example of something that has really positive uses" as long as you're racist, sexist and (probably) bigotted.

      Or a diver-

      http://www.wrstc.com/downloads/12%20-%20Common%20Hand%20Signals.pdf

      Or the BBC-

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49837898

      OK hand sign added to list of hate symbols

      ...The ADL says the OK symbol has become a "popular trolling tactic" from "right-leaning individuals, who often post photos to social media of themselves posing while making the gesture".

      The world's gorn mad. On the plus side, the OK sign is pretty easy to recognise. On the minus, it could be.. unfortunate should your dive buddy see your OK sign and respond by swimming away in panic.

      Also not convinced about the detection of US politicians as criminals. That could just be AI precognition.

  3. Drew Scriver Bronze badge

    I suspect Amazon has figured out ways around a number of the issues and they want to make sure the new regulations turn their (patented, no doubt) solutions into requirements.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    When the inmates are running the asylum, everything is crazy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me get this straight, regulation which is supposed to keep capitalism in check is now created by corporations to generate business. We should just have corporate governments and cut out the middle men. What a time to be alive.

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  6. martinusher Silver badge

    Racist? Sexist?

    The algorithm is only as good as its training data. Improve the data, maybe tweak the algorithm and its completely neutral.

    The problem with facial recognition isn't that it 'doesn't work'. It does. Rather well, in fact. Its like ANPR for people. (...and nobody complained when ANPR was rolled out so that your vehicle could be tracked anywhere, anytime. You really have to pay attention to these things.....now everyone's making a lot of noise about facial recognition but its really too late to do much about it, at least at the government/law enforcement level)

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Racist? Sexist?

      Calling it Racist and Sexist based on dodgy[1] stories is classic dog-whistle politics. In a sane world it would be seen for what it is: an unhelpful distraction from whatever the real issues are[2]. In the real world, it works depressingly well for some: it seems to be strongly correlated with tribal identity: indeed, creating such identities perhaps more importantly than playing to them.

      As for ANPR, not at all the same: after all, the whole purpose of numberplates is as identifiers, and they're discrete. ANPR is much closer to reading a barcode than recognising a face.

      [1] For values of 'dodgy' including misreported and/or misunderstood.

      [2] Real issues which might include uses that stray - accidentally or otherwise - into racism or sexism.

    2. DerekCurrie
      FAIL

      Re: Racist? Sexist?

      "...isn't that it 'doesn't work'. It does. Rather well, in fact."

      Sorry but: No, it doesn't. Having it work rather well with your iPhone isn't translating into it working well out on the street amidst thousands of faces. I have yet to read of public facial recognition systems actually working at a level anyone would call 'competent'. Examples:

      Facial recognition flunks ID test at New York City's RFK Bridge, report says

      Facial Recognition Technology Test Has Massive Failure, Matches 20% Of California Legislature With Wanted Criminals

      98% Failure Rates: Why Police Facial Recognition is so Terrible

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pot calling the Kettle Black

    They obviously have a large test bed of subjects. i.e. All those who work for them and are monitored every second they are at work. Having to pee into bottles is humiliating and possibly illegal yet, they seem to get away with it. Too big to prosecute perhaps.

    I feel sorry for anyone who works there. I'd never last an hour with that sort of surveilance.

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        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          > ...upvoted 42 times and downvoted 787 times...

          Thanks for sharing! ------>

          > Everyone agrees there's only my AI technology and nothing else?

          For a very small value of "everyone".

  9. sum_of_squares
    Terminator

    "Are you Sarah Connor?"

    "Yeah. Why are you asking?"

    "Well our facial recognition system was.. ehem ..regulated on Aug 21st 2022 and.. - wait, why am I telling you this?"

    1. veti Silver badge

      "Because you're required to make sure I assent to fourteen pages of legal boilerplate before you terminate me. Dumbass."

  10. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Death vs Convience

    My cousin in laws brother killed himself while/ due to working at Amazon. I tried to organise a family wide boycott of Amazon but failed - even his own brother said, "But it's just so convenient". We need legislation, or at least the workers there need legislation. Maybe some taxation too.

    I should confess, I watch Amazon Prime Video on a relatives account. I am not a Labour supporter or voter, but the end of the gig economy is tempting to vote for.

  11. ThatOne Silver badge
    Coat

    I'd watch that

    "Annual Alexa devices launch event"

    Is that something like the stone put of the Scottish Highland games?...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

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