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Exclusive-Amazon extends moratorium on police use of facial recognition software

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Exclusive-Amazon extends moratorium on police use of facial recognition software
Exclusive-Amazon extends moratorium on police use of facial recognition software   -   Copyright  (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html
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By Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) -Amazon.com Inc told Reuters on Tuesday it is extending until further notice a moratorium that it imposed last year on police use of its facial recognition software.

The company had issued the moratorium for one year in June 2020, at the height of protests across the United States against police brutality towards people of color, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minnesota.

The moratorium followed a years-long fight between the world’s largest online retailer and civil liberties advocates, who warned that inaccurate matches could lead to unjust arrests.

The company, whose cloud computing division Amazon Web Services offers face-matching software with its service known as Rekognition, did not comment Tuesday on the reason for the moratorium’s extension.

Last year, it had said it hoped Congress would put in place rules to ensure ethical use of the technology. Congress has held hearings on the matter, but no such law has emerged.

(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San FranciscoEditing by Chris Reese and Peter Graff)

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