What if the face doesn’t fit?

Wendell Wallach on the difficulties of regulating facial recognition technology

The World Today Updated 10 November 2020 Published 3 August 2018 4 minute READ

Wendell Wallach

Senior Adviser, The Hastings Centre

Attention in the United States has been directed to the use of facial recognition technology for law enforcement and surveillance by protests from employees of Google, Microsoft and Amazon over government contracts.

The most recent protest began with a June 18 letter to Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos from a group of shareholders challenging the fact that the company was marketing its Rekognition software to police departments.

The shareholders’ concerns quickly spread to employees who wrote their own letter. ‘Our company should not be in the surveillance business,’ it read. ‘We should not be in the policing business; we should not be in the business of supporting those who monitor and oppress marginalized populations.’

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