“But wait,” you may start to say “I didn’t even know Amazon was even IN the surveillance business.”
Yeah. Neither did we. :-/
This is pretty much our worst fears realized: A huge corporation quietly implementing biased facial recognition software without any oversight from anyone.
Needless to say, this situation falls under the territory of our #EthicalAlgorithms mandate.
Here’s an ACLU Petition with links to more information:
We are still evaluating the documents and will be planning a specific strategy to deal with this situation – Aaron Swartz Day style :-
We have been making enormous progress on the Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project – which is a 100% successful experiment done in collaboration with the EFF, Oakland Privacy.net, cell phone privacy expert Daniel Rigmaiden and wonderful Muckrock.
The project provides letter templates to make it easy to ask your local police and sherriff’s departments what surveillance equipment they may have already purchased; they have to give you receipts and contracts if you guess correctly. (It’s like a little game show.)
So we are still in catch up mode at this time – but we are on the case. And we have many experts and technologists working to explain and expose the truth, before it’s too late.
If we can’t stop it from being implemented in the short term, perhaps we can develop technologies to stop it from functioning properly. While we are working out these issues in the courts, there is nothing saying we can’t share information and take defensive action. If you know techniques that folks should know about, email us at aaronswartzday [@] gmail.com
More on the situation from the New York Times.