After learning that Amazon was pushing the use of Rekognition, its facial recognition tool, for use in policing (a global phenomenon that is gaining momentum despite the material unsuitability of these tools in policing contexts), the ACLU of Northern California had a brainwave: they asked Rekognition to evaluate the faces of the 115th Congress of the United States.
Rekognition indicated high confidence that 28 members of the current Congress were known arrestees. It was wrong in every case. The false positives disproportionately targeted racialized members of Congress.
This, finally, has Congress's attention: members of Congress have sent some pointed questions to Amazon about its Rekognition tool and given them a deadline of Aug 20 to respond. They've also requested an immediate meeting with Jeff Bezos to discuss the topic in depth.
Amazon’s Face Recognition Falsely Matched 28 Members of Congress With Mugshots
[ACLU of Northern California]
Amazon wrongly IDed 28 members of Congress, and they’re not happy about it [Cyrus Farivar/Ars Technica]
Amazon’s Facial Recognition Wrongly Identifies 28 Lawmakers, A.C.L.U. Says [Natasha Singer/NYT]
Google [Alphabet Inc.] will soon charge hardware companies up to $40 per device to use Google apps, under a new licensing plan that will replace one struck down by the EU earlier this year as anti-competitive, reports Reuters.
A batch of internal Harvard admission-related emails have come into the public domain as part of a lawsuit alleging that Harvard discriminates against Asian applicants, and they reveal that the admissions process is tilted in favor of members of families who are major donors to Harvard.
The highly secretive Silicon Valley-based data company Palantir is reported to be considering an initial public offering.
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