Amazon defends facial-recognition tech sale to FBI despite moratorium

submitted by Lee Duna edited…

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because [the moratorium] only applied to police

Fuck bezos and fuck amazon


I bet that this will be used for 24/7 tracking to create a social credit system akin to China's.


Except you will have no idea what it is. You'll just be automatically declined for loans, or your health or car insurance is higher, or the police show up to your door with a search warrant to find anything they can because you're not being a good citizen.


You say that like it's not happening now, but it is.


Therefore they will say "you're just being too rebellious" and then outline a million page script PDF saying exactly how the world should go divided by street.


Psychopass (anime)


Love its song. Maybe sometime I'll actually watch it.

Snot Flickerman , edited

If a corporate Suit tells you something is true, they're lying.

If they tell you the sky is blue, you go outside and fucking check to be sure, because you can't trust literally a fucking word they say, going back decades.

''The floodgates for advertising on cable are down,'' says Michael Dann, a leading consultant on cable television. Indeed, even pay television, once assumed to be secure from commercial interests, is attracting some attention as a potential vehicle for advertising. Admittedly, such leading pay cable services as Home Box Office and Showtime, whose programming consists primarily of theatrically released films, *staunchly maintain that they will never accept advertising.*

From 1981, HBO and Showtime executives claiming "they will never accept advertising." Most people today don't even remember that one of the major pulls for cable TV was originally that there were no commercials on cable TV.

Whatever they're saying, it's always, always, always a lie that will be flipped the second it's profitable to do so.

Never trust the word of a businessman, especially about their business. You can trust, but you must verify. If they don't allow you to verify, they cannot be trusted.


Truth. Executives lie, then lie some more, then lie about lying, and then lyingly lie to whatever end suits them in the moment.


New Orleans did a pilot with allowing facial recognition for major felonies and it just didn’t work at all. Of the 15 requests, 9 failed to make a match and of the 6 that did return a “match,” 3 were the wrong person.

That’s a small sample size — most cities don’t release data — but it explains why cities that happily use facial recognition software don’t see reductions in crime or cleared cases. It’s just a complete waste of money and the investigators’ time. Facial recognition tech can (usually) identify friends in photos but criminals aren’t posing for fancy modern phone cameras in decent lighting. They’re using security cam stills and anyone committing a major felony probably has their face at least partially covered.

It’s like that software that’s supposed to identify gunshots but has so many false positives, police stop even bothering to follow-up after awhile. Maybe not as stupid as the NYPD buying robots but still a huge waste of resources.


Not to mention the primarily black population of Louisiana who are disproportionately targeted for crimes will be the greatest number of false positives .

Due to the common knowledge the facial recognition is severely lacking when it comes to successfully identifying black populations due to darker tones being harder to differentiate.

This would take an existing problem and magnify it by creating a larger, more automated police state.

Not to mention data privacy/security, which the LA DMV just got their data hacked in the last two years...

Seriously a public safety violation all-around.

Snot Flickerman

Due to the common knowledge the facial recognition is severely lacking when it comes to successfully identifying black populations due to darker tones being harder to differentiate.

It's not even this, if you use high quality cameras, black skin can be easily and well photographed.

The issue is by and large *most* security cameras use super cheap cameras that don't have a wide range of color they can capture, so you end up losing all definition on the faces of darker skinned individuals.

This has been an issue since cameras were first invented, and better cameras that solve this issue were created long ago.

It's because our capitalist overlords are cheap bastards.


Also possible that the systems are trained on light skinned people more?

abhibeckert , edited

No I don't think this is a training issue. Light skin physically reflects more light, which gives cameras significantly more data to work with to detect shadows/etc.

The face recognition on a phone gets around that by creating their own light, with dot projection at a light wavelength the human eye can't see, but I've only ever heard of that being done for short range face recognition. CCTV cameras are too far away from the face and are not really accurate enough for anyone (including white people).

AFAIK Amazon's system was mostly intended for their self service retail stores... that's a different scenario entirely since you're only comparing faces to other customers who are in the store at the same time as you. And also the stakes are much lower - if two people appear to be the same person you can just flag both customers as needing to be verified by a staff member. No big deal at all.

Using it as evidence for a crime though, will inevitably result in false convictions.

abhibeckert , edited

Better cameras aren't enough - you also need much brighter lighting. So bright customers would complain and get headaches.

Or alternatively, have the camera close to the customer's face. Again, nobody wants that... though we do put up with it for ATMs / etc.

Snot Flickerman

Cops and wasting resources on stupid shit that doesn't actually help them solve crimes.

Name a more iconic duo.


Law enforcement isn't interested in solving crimes. It's interested in securing convictions. False convictions do nicely to advance police and DA careers. And innocent bystanders are fine for putting warm bodies into empty prison cells.


I love humanity. Further enmeshing private, vicious capital with the dubious methods used by law enforcement to clear cases and put up numbers while we all suffer.