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Amazon Pushes ICE to Buy Its Face Recognition Surveillance Tech

POGO – Amazon employees are up in arms about possible collaborations with law enforcement. “That hasn’t stopped Amazon reps from pitching ICE on its face-scanning tech. “Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement met with Amazon this summer and the corporate giant pitched the government agency on its controversial technology that can identify people in real time by scanning faces in a video feed, documents obtained by the Project on Government Oversight show.

Arming ICE with real-time facial recognition surveillance technology could supercharge the agency’s enforcement power, and make undocumented immigrants afraid to seek out vital services in places where cameras could be located. During this administration, ICE agents have targeted immigrants trying to enter and leave medical facilities and houses of worship despite an official policy that discourages apprehensions at “sensitive locations.” With facial recognition surveillance technology, ICE could automate and surreptitiously surveil these and other public locations permanently by setting up video cameras and linking them to Amazon’s software.

What’s more, numerous studies, including research by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the MIT Media Lab, have shown that facial recognition technology is more likely to mistakenly identify people of color as targets—which can lead to wrongful arrests.

Former ICE officials expressed concern to POGO about the potential for abuse of this technology, especially given the current political climate…”

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