Amazon Employees Appeal Against Sale of Rekognition Software to US Government

By Nitish Singh / June 22, 2018

Amazon employees have initiated a protest against their employer following recent incidents involving refugees and immigrants being mistreated by the ICE as well as the targeting of black individuals by the United States police officials. Amazon is known to be working with law enforcement to test its Rekognition software that can be used to track individuals of interest by the police. The employees mentioned that they want to take a stand against the immoral US policies and the inhumane nature of the government officials’ recent activities.

The e-commerce company also offers other services to the government including its AWS cloud hosting service. The AWS services are used by Palantir, a data analytics firm that works with the ICE. Amazon announced the sale of its Rekognition software to the police following the ACLU investigation earlier this year.

The employees stated that they do not want contribute to tools that are designed to violate basic human rights. Amazonians have requested a right to have a choice in deciding what the e-commerce giant builds and how the company’s products and services are used. Protests are not restricted to Amazon alone with employees at Google and Microsoft also making similar demands. It has not been revealed by any of the large tech companies if worker policies will be changed to give them the rights that they ask for.

Google was reported to be helping US officials at the Pentagon build AI tools that can analyze drone surveillance footage while Mircosoft provides cloud services to the ICE. Protests from employees made Google pull out of their contract, and the tech giant promised not to develop AI weapons that infringe on human rights. Microsoft, on the other hand, claimed that the company provides only basic software to the government for email and messaging.

What do you think of the recent events in the US involving immigrants? Should Amazon give in to the employees’ demands? Do let us know in the comment section. Also, join us on our TechNadu’s Twitter handle and Facebook page for instant updates.

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