E-commerce giant Amazon published a statement on Sunday stating that the company is “standing in solidarity with the Black community” in the “fight against systemic racism and injustice.”
Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce and tech giiant Amazon posted a statement recently in which the firm states: “The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop.” The statement further goes on to say that the company stands with the Black community in the fight against “systemic racism and injustice,” as protests over the death of George Floyd rage across the United States.
— Amazon (@amazon) May 31, 2020
However, despite claiming to stand with protesters, Amazon has a long history of working with law enforcement, specifically in the development of facial recognition technology. Breitbart News reported in July of 2019 after 15 months, a pilot test aiming to bring Amazon’s facial recognition system, called Rekognition, to the Orlando Police Department had ended. City police reportedly ended the test after multiple technical issues resulting in the technology failing to work correctly and a lack of resources on the police department’s part.
The software system is designed to utilize facial recognition algorithms to search for and track suspects in real-time. Amazon has previously claimed that the software was used to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking. Orlando police were meant to utilize the system by uploading photos of suspects to it, Rekognition would then search CCTV cameras for the suspect’s face.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) welcomed the announcement of the end of the project telling the Verge: “Congratulations to the Orlando Police Department for finally figuring out what we long warned — Amazon’s surveillance technology doesn’t work and is a threat to our privacy and civil liberties.” The ACLU found in a study conducted last July that Amazon’s facial recognition software incorrectly identified 28 members of Congress with images of people who had been arrested.
Breitbart News reported in February of 2019 that a study by MIT found that Amazon’s software has an error rate of approximately 31 percent when identifying the gender of images of women with dark skin while rival software developed by Kairos had an error rate of 22.5 percent and IBM’s software boasted a rate of just 17 percent. However, software from Amazon, Microsoft, and Kairos successfully identified images of light-skinned men 100 percent of the time.
Amazon is one of many companies that has expressed its support of protesters, including Twitter, Nike, Netflix, and Spotify.
Racism does not adhere to social distancing.
Amid the already growing fear and uncertainty around the pandemic, this week has again brought attention to something perhaps more pervasive: the long-standing racism and injustices faced by Black and Brown people on a daily basis. pic.twitter.com/8zKPlDnacY
— Twitter Together (@TwitterTogether) May 29, 2020
— Nike (@Nike) May 29, 2020
To be silent is to be complicit.
Black lives matter.
We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.
— Netflix (@netflix) May 30, 2020
— Spotify (@Spotify) May 30, 2020
Follow Breitbart News’ coverage of protests at our live feed here.