This is from the release that accompanied the demand:
A coalition of over 85 racial justice, faith, and civil, human, and immigrants’ rights groups today sent letters to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google demanding the companies commit not to sell face surveillance technology to the government.
The coalition makes it clear to each company that a decision to provide face surveillance technology to the government threatens the safety of community members and will also undermine public trust in its business.
“Companies can’t continue to pretend that the ‘break then fix’ approach works,” said Nicole Ozer, Technology and Civil Liberties director for the ACLU of California. “History has clearly taught us that the government will exploit technologies like face surveillance to target communities of color, religious minorities, and immigrants. We are at a crossroads with face surveillance, and the choices made by these companies now will determine whether the next generation will have to fear being tracked by the government for attending a protest, going to their place of worship, or simply living their lives.”
The coalition also notes in its letters that face surveillance “gives the government new power to target and single out immigrants, religious minorities, and people of color in our communities” and that “systems built on face surveillance will amplify and exacerbate historical and existing bias.” Acknowledging both employee and shareholder calls for corporate change, the coalition reiterates that it is time for these companies to take responsibility for the impact of their technology on the privacy and safety of communities and commit not to sell face surveillance to the government….
The letters come as executives from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have all spoken publicly about facial recognition technology, revealing an industry at odds on how to respond to concerns raised about government use of such technology. Read more