Tech giants often work alongside the government to help with a variety of projects and the head of Amazon's cloud computing division has revealed that the company is open to working with any government agency that follows the law.
This is in stark contrast to its top rivals, Microsoft and Google, who have turned down government projects over ethical concerns.
At the 2019 Code Conference, AWS CEO Andy Jassy responded to a question regarding the company's work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying:
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“We will serve the federal government, and they will have to use the technology responsibly. Any government department that’s following the law, we will serve them.”
At the same time though, Jassy hopes that federal regulators will hurry up or else we could soon have “50 different laws in 50 different states”.
Amazon has become entangled in a public debate over the use of facial recognition technology by governments over the past year with critics warning of false matches and arrests while proponents believe the technology would help keep the public safe.
Jassy acknowledged that the issues surrounding facial recognition technology are indeed very real but said that “just because technology could be misused, doesn't mean you should ban or condemn it”.
Amazon's face and image ID service called Rekognition has been used by law enforcement in Oregon and Florida and many are concerned that it will soon be deployed in other US states.
Microsoft on the other hand, has taken a different approach than Amazon and the company has defended its $480m hardware contract with the US Army while holding off on selling its facial recognition technology when it believed that human rights would be at risk.
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