Two Amazon shareholder proposals about the company’s controversial facial recognition technology failed to pass Wednesday, following a concerted push by civil rights groups and activist investors.One proposal would have banned Amazon from selling its Rekognition technology to government agencies unless it first determines the software doesn’t infringe on civil liberties. The other proposal called for an independent study of the potential privacy and human rights violations caused by Rekognition.Both proposals were presented at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle on Wednesday. The company said it isn’t disclosing the vote tallies until this Friday.”The fact that there needed to be a vote on this is an embarrassment for Amazon’s leadership team. It demonstrates shareholders do not have confidence that company executives are properly understanding or addressing the civil and human rights impacts of its role in facilitating pervasive government surveillance,” Shankar Narayan, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington’s Technology and Liberty Project director, said in a statement. “While we have yet to see the exact breakdown of the vote, this shareholder intervention should serve as a wake-up call for the company to reckon with the real harms of face surveillance and to change course.”Both proposals, which were non-binding, were long… Read full this story
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