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Wed May 22, 2019, 03:46 PM

Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition ban as concern grows in U.S. Congress

Source: Reuters

BUSINESS NEWS MAY 22, 2019 / 1:04 PM / UPDATED 2 MINUTES AGO

Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition ban as concern grows in U.S. Congress

Jeffrey Dastin
4 MIN READ

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said shareholders rejected proposals to curb and audit its facial recognition service on Wednesday, just as members of Congress indicated there was bipartisan support to one day regulate the technology.

In the past year Amazon has found itself at the center of a growing debate over the use of facial recognition by governments, with critics warning of false matches and arrests and proponents arguing it keeps the public safe. Law enforcement in Oregon and Florida have used Amazonís face and image ID service, known as Rekognition.

With support from civil liberties groups, two non-binding proposals on facial recognition made it to the ballot ahead of Amazonís shareholder meeting on Wednesday. The worldís top online retailer and cloud computing company had tried to stop the votes, but it was effectively overruled by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The first proposal would have made the company stop offering facial recognition to governments unless its board determined sales did not violate civil liberties. A second would have requested a study by September of the extent to which Amazonís service harmed rights and privacy.

According to an Amazon spokeswoman, the resolutions failed by a wide margin. The vote breakdown will be disclosed at a later point in time.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-facial-recognition/amazon-shareholders-reject-facial-recognition-ban-as-concern-grows-in-u-s-congress-idUSKCN1SS28I

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