Can big tech be green? Amazon working to achieve zero-emissions delivery services Deliveries are going green, but what about that cloud computing data center? The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has blocked Amazon’s attempt to prevent shareholders from voting on the sale of Rekognition facial recognition technologies to the US government. Earlier this year, shareholders issued a public statement via Open MIC which said “shareholders request that the Board of Directors prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless the Board concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.” The statement noted that Rekognition is already being trialed in Florida and Oregon by law enforcement. Rekognition is Amazon’s image, face, and object recognition system. Based on deep learning and computer vision algorithms, the software is able to automatically process millions of photos per day and is touted as a solution for a range of applications in social and security contexts. “You can compare a face on a webcam to a badge photo before allowing an employee to enter a secure zone,” Amazon says. “You can perform visual surveillance, inspecting photos for objects or people of interest or concern. You can build “smart” marketing billboards that collect demographic data about viewers.” Now, US regulators have entered the mix. The request of Amazon shareholders for an independent review into the applications of Rekognition and the prohibition of sales until concerns have been… [Read full story]
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