Amazon Filed A Patent Application For Tech That Could Link You To Your Identity And Job

from Buzzfeed.News

Amazon has filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for technology that could one day scan your face and identify who you are, use visual cues to figure out the kind of work you do, and potentially track you as you move around.

The patent application, which was filed in August 2017 and made public on Thursday, offers insight into Amazon’s possible ambitions for Rekognition — the company’s powerful facial recognition tool that it has aggressively pitched to law enforcement agencies across the US. While a patent application doesn’t necessarily mean that Amazon plans to implement the technology or to integrate it into Rekognition, it does show the company’s keen interest in potentially invasive facial recognition applications, from tracking individuals to entire groups of people.

The technology could, for example, tell that a tracked individual is “Allen Brewer,” based on “facial data” plus “unique identifiers” that make it clear it is identifying a specific Allen Brewer using, say, his residence. Brewer could then be classified as, for instance, an accountant, after the system “[evaluates] the clothing that the individual is wearing, [identifies] the individual as Allen Brewer and then [determines] that Allen Brewer is an accountant,” according to the patent.

When a certain object or person is being tracked, the patent says the technology could make use of metadata to add even more details to what it knows about the individual, and it could update identity information for that person; associations would be “maintained and monitored over time.” It could detect uniforms that connect an individual to a particular group, “such as a law enforcement officer or a member of a sports team,” the patent says. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.)

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43 Responses to Amazon Filed A Patent Application For Tech That Could Link You To Your Identity And Job

  1. Kyle Stephens March 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm #

    Amazons new facial recognition software has the potential to be something great or something absolutely terrible. I hope for my own sake and for Amazons sake that this software ends up being the missing tool law enforcement needs to find missing persons, preventing theft, identifying criminals, etc. However based on how this world usually works, odds are this software will end up in the wrong hands too quickly resulting in some sort of mass identity crisis. I believe Amazon is setting themselves up for failure with this initiative. I find it hard to believe they will find any way that they can manage this product efficiently and safely. In its pitch it already has flaws that I can see being exploited. To start, they claim that based on features of your body and what you are wearing that this software can guess your profession. Although that may be a cool concept, all it will bring is problems. At some point the software will mis gender or offend someone bringing negative publicity to amazon. Second, this software has to have access to the database for identities. This can clearly be a huge problem because if they get targeted by a hacking organization, then amazon leads them to an unlimited supply of free identities that they can steal or sell on the black market. Third, its already invading our privacy by scanning without our consent and it seems like it will be able to find out a good amount of information. And who knows what could be done with this information in the event of a hack on the program. Another major concern I have with this software is the fact that Jeff Bezos has not addressed any concerns yet. He has been reached out to my news outlets with no response. This could mean a number of things, but I would assume the silence means he doesn’t even know how to address these problems. So with that being said, why does he keep pushing this onto different agencies if he cant even address the concerns of the people. I believe he is putting both Amazon and the American people in jeopardy with this new project.

  2. Shegufta Tasneem March 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm #

    Technology has both positive and negative effects on the world. But recently, the pace that technology has been advancing is alarming. Its negative effects are already evident in the world now and it will be even more prominent in the near future. Tech companies around the world seem to be so obsessed with technology that they are prepared to overlook the negative effects of these technologies and only present the useful side of it to the world. Amazon’s new facial recognition software was probably built in good faith of positive implications such as, “finding missing children and avoiding package theft.” While these are good initiatives by Amazon to gain more trust from their customers, it’s over implications will do just the opposite of what they intend to do. It is important that these major tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft maintain their reputation as the benefitting companies as they originally started to be. But, their overuse and over-reliance on technology are only causing them to lose their goodwill. Amazon is trying to go beyond its original business model and its applications with the introduction of this software. As a business organization, they do not have any right to the knowledge of personal and offline information of its customers. It is breaching the trust of its clients as well as its own employees by misusing their power. Amazon does not necessarily need these intricate details about the customers to deliver the right products to them. They would rather be considered more effective in their business if they decided to stick tot heir original business model which is showcasing the products to the customers and delivering it to hem with the limited amount of data that the customers choose to let Amazon know. This is a form of privacy invasion and also in a way, they are snatching away the right to free speech and freedom of choice by forcing customers to comply by their new “rules” which includes using the new software in order to buy products from Amazon.

  3. Trovonta Burgess March 1, 2019 at 3:14 pm #

    Over the years Amazon has proposed the idea of recognition technology that could track someone from facial, clothing or certain objects being recognized and identified. From these different clues that technology application could then give personal information about the particular individual such as place of work, residence, and many other facts. Amazon has filed a patent for this application. With the patent filed over two years ago, much controversy has surrounded the topic and many questions have still been left unanswered. With the implementation of a system like this, there are many pros and cons raised by the overall activities performed by the application. Many individuals have already stated their concerns about not having privacy and this would totally invade everyone’s privacy. This would be a good thing because it would have the potential to track criminals and missing children and individuals. Using something like this might even lead to a decline in criminal activity with the risk of constantly being monitored and recorded. This could also benefit law enforcement in a number of ways eliminating some of the steps required in solve a case today. Similar to the television show NCIS Los Angeles, where they can run an individual face through a database to locate and pull up their recent records. As cool as this sounds, that also seems to impede on the first amendment, because you’re always being watched no matter what without Amazons or the government’s permission. An application such as this could also be used to a disadvantage where it shows bias and stereotypes groups of individuals. On a mass level, it would make racial profiling that much easier and other race or gender issues to occur. There is a vast potential for this to be abused and work against the American people including their beliefs and freedom of speech. No matter the benefits there is always someone out there with the power and authority to use the information collected on someone in a negative aspect, causing problems. Though there have been issues understanding and getting the application in the right place to be passed, I believe this will be implemented in the future and there’s nothing we as people can do to prevent it. As Amazon is currently dominating other industries, this would be another step towards them owning everything and managing everyone. It is known that Amazon is tracking and monitoring all personals online but this is a step too far with the recognition technology in place.

  4. Trevaughn Laney March 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm #

    Amazons patent application from face value seems to be an invasion of privacy but one could look at this from multiple perspectives. Although this new technology can be used for negative purposes, I see a lot of positives in the use of it like finding missing children or possibly someone who is a threat to others around them. Public recording has been going on for years, but I think the main reason people are skeptical about this is because this recording does an analysis on multiple with and it could be biased. This new tech seems similar to stop lights that takes photos of someone who is speeding or run’s a red light and after the picture is taken it send the ticket right to your home. Looking at it from a more positive perspective, recoding minorities may give the amazon or the government a better idea of how they can make the communities better although that does seem a little far-fetched. Personally, I don’t mind trying out new technology if it for a positive reason and it sucks to say but even if we don’t want it to happen there isn’t much we can do to stop them from going through with it so we have to accept it and hope for the best. From a negative point of view or cautious, if you are looking for a job and this new application is used in the process than your past activities may hinder you from obtaining that job that job. This could be a problem if you had a rough past and did things that your job does not agree with. Telling false stories may not be the best thing to do when you’re in the hiring process but sometimes telling the truth will give them reasons to not hire you. Facial recognition seems scary when you it’s not directly benefiting you like the iPhone X. Our usually have the most private things about us on them but because we feel like the no one else can see it, it isn’t a problem, but we always get notifications on our phones i.e. Amber alerts that comes through whenever the government wants it too. So although this new tech can be looked at from multiple views, the one thing I will say is that there is so much technology in today’s world that I don’t think banning this new implementation will make much of a difference and as I said before, there is nothing we can do about it because the government has so much power and there isn’t much we can do besides complain and hope they hear us.

  5. Ruth Francois March 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm #

    In this article it states how Amazon filed a patent application that can scan your face to identify who you are and where you work. This tech application can use visual cues to track individuals as they’re moving around. The scanner can potentially find out where people work and what they do on a daily basis. Amazon patent application has been aggressively pitched to law enforcement agencies around the US. Amazon does show interest in potentially using the scanners to track down individuals to entire groups of people. The device could also detect the individual clothing to further classify them, whether it’s a uniform that ties to a company or a suit for a law firm.

    This device, in my opinion, could cause further discrimination issues. In our society today where police brutality is increasing and minorities are the victims to racial crimes, a device like this will increase more violence. Due to the facial recognition the ability that this device has such as, tracking individual where a bout’s, isn’t safe. This can impact the communities of color negatively; this facial recognition can be used as a target for officers to track particular groups of people due to their racism or assumptions. In the article, it states that law enforcement in Orlando are already using the Amazon’s Rekognition. There hasn’t been report of misuse by law enforcement yet. But the sad truth is there are people in this world who don’t view everyone as equal. Some of those individuals are in our law enforcement, so eventually some misconduct will surface.

    Despite the negative attributes that this deceive can cause it does have its benefits. Amazon believes that using facial recognition can find missing children. It could also prevent theft when packages are delivered. Amazon facial recognition ultimately has more cons than pros, with its vast potential of being abused in the wrong hands. A device like this shouldn’t be used in our society.

  6. rayzan alarashi March 1, 2019 at 4:58 pm #

    As humanity’s obsession with technology continues to grow, in no way am I surprised that Amazon has recently patented their new technology for human facial recognition. This new technology when developed, will have the ability of tracking individuals in society using facial recognition in order to determine things like occupation and connect certain individuals to social groups. This form of technology has the power to be very beneficial for society or extremely harmful if used in the wrong ways. This technology could potentially reduce the rate of crimes such as robberies or even helping to find missing individuals. Personally, I believe that despite how harmful a program like this may seem, it can still cause major issues throughout society. For one, some people are already fed up with the ways that technology is seemingly breaching their privacy in every way. Even some countries as a whole, such as Germany, have taken a large stance against the breach of privacy in forms of technology. If this technology is controlled by the wrong people, it has a large potential to be easily exploited. For example, if it has the ability to link individuals to occupations by clothing and appearance, then it will likely discriminate against some people especially if used by law enforcement agencies. The issues of racial discrimination currently occurring throughout particular law enforcement, leaves me skeptical about whether we should allow these agencies to have access to this technology. As we’ve seen in the past, law enforcement has had several instances of racial discrimination against certain groups. Knowing that this technology could possibly increase racial bias, allowing its use by all law enforcement should not be an immediate action. Not only am I skeptical about this technology, but also very fearful of the ways that it could possibly take the wrong turn. Recent developments and discoveries in the past several years have showed us a small glimpse of how technology practically has no limit. Everyone ones that we are destined to live in a world that is completely controlled by technology, there’s no escaping that, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. There are endless ways that technology can help us especially in how we’ve seen it used in medicine, but this also means that we should be very careful about not creating technology that could be harmful.

  7. Jon Sozer March 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm #

    Privacy is an issue that has been long discussed generally, and also within this blog. Companies, using technology and loopholes around terms of service, are acting less and less restricted in forgoing their consumers’ privacy. The most well known example is Facebook, with news on their gathering, processing, and using information on their members to make money through advertisements. Privacy doesn’t mean much to companies when they can make a quick buck off of it, which is in direct contrast to most of the populations interest.

    Now, rather than Facebook making the news for violation of privacy, Amazon is in the limelight. Amazon has filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent would allow for the continuation in Amazon’s pursuit of recognition technology. The tech would be able to pick out individuals from a security camera feed or track an individual along a series of cameras. It would be able to link the identified individual to groups, organizations, or occupation based on their outfit and other metadata. Though the technology would ideally be used only in situations that call for finding individuals in danger, or tracking people that pose a high risk, it’s doubtful that groups with this technology would stop at that extent. It becomes a question of whether or not we will start living in our own version of 1984. Being under constant surveillance, this technology could possibly be the final seal on the coffin of freedom.

    I think that we can all agree on the idea that privacy is important. I personally value my privacy, though I don’t go out of my way to encrypt my hard drive and set up my VPN. I do, however, take notice when such outlandish acts of privacy violation could become instated within my community. The idea of being tracked at all times going from school to home and back doesn’t sit well with me, and it shouldn’t for anyone else that doesn’t appreciate dystopian society.

  8. Cameron Lindley March 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm #

    I see a good and bad side to this. As always, this is something that would have to be highly regulated and used responsibly. On one hand, policing could be made much more simple, but for those who desire lots of privacy, such as myself, this makes me very nervous. As the digital age expands, remaining anonymous is becoming more and more difficult. I also see a huge problem of mistakes, for example if someone was falsely identified and pursued as such, that is a gigantic lawsuit waiting to happen. Amazon needs to be careful that they aren’t moving too fast, the world around them needs to be on par with technology to ensure mature usage of such a product. Obviously filing a patent doesn’t mean they will immediately implement this technology, which is a very good thing. I don’t think the world is ready for this powerful of technology. The other sectors of technology required to make this run smoothly, in my opinion, are lacking. I think there is still too much drama within law enforcement for this; it gives police a lot of power to which they don’t always use responsibly.
    The added details about a person also worry me, for that is very vague and who knows what they could throw in there. Citizen’s privacy needs to remain top priority and with this I feel that could be infringed on. This software could also be potentially negated if someone were to wear a mask, I’m assuming? If so, they would need to find ways to counter that. I’m sure Amazon has a responsible plan for such, as they don’t really worry me, it’s the third parties Amazon would sell this too, like the police, that worries me. I don’t really trust the police in this era and I think this gives them more power than they can handle. I would love to be proven wrong, but per recent events, I have not been.

  9. Aidan Nathaniel Clee March 1, 2019 at 5:45 pm #

    This technology is very controversial as the many points can be seen throughout the article. It has ethical questions, legal questions, and security questions. This kind of technology would have to be very secured and would actually have to have many restrictions as places and meanings of use. If this technology was ever hacked, then people would have immense details on many people’s profiles which not only has video of them everywhere but has details on where they live and their job and all the details there is about them. Is it ethical to be tracking everyone everywhere? Does the FBI really need this tech to monitor the entire United States population? The article also mentions the question of whether or not this is an infringement on people’s freedom but more specifically their freedom of speech. I would say yes possibly if they do track the people that show up at rallies. This could possibly take to the United States Supreme Court to resolve whether or not this is a first amendment issue. This could be taken as not infringement of our rights because of the fact that it doesn’t do anything the people rallying unless of course they do anything. The one area I do this being the worst is in our invasion of privacy. We have already allowed the government to pass a bill to look at everything we look at online or wherever but now we would be allowing them to track us around our towns and across the country. This is like putting a literal low jack on us. To me this is as bad if not worse then Facebook pulling all our data for private use. Allowing this technology to be used freely would be an absolute security breech in the lives of all of us and I hope that the American people realize and then stop this. It is an interesting idea but there is too much reliance on trusting the government to use this correctly and too much trust in private companies to not use this technology in a bad way. The test might be working at small county levels but country wide this is a terrible idea but we have the years until the patent is approved to get ready to fight this technology being implemented.

  10. Ria Bagga March 1, 2019 at 6:23 pm #

    Amazon’s facial recognition tool they recently filed a patent on serves for a questionable purpose. As package thieves become a growing issue, it’s understandable Amazon is seeking to prevent these losses from occurring. The idea of facial recognition technology is almost like a Big Brother concept. I felt uncomfortable just reading the article, thinking about how every time I step outside I could be tracked and the details of my location, time at location, time spent at location, etc. could be data Amazon will collect. It is clear that simply browsing the internet we are being watched in similar ways, by the websites we visit and the purchases we make. The types of tracking are still different in collection data with visualization of exactly what you are doing wherever this technology could be placed. I would consider this the equivalent of browsing the internet with your webcam on, knowing people are watching and recording exactly what you do.
    I’m sure Amazon will claim the technology would not be used for these reasons, but as the article mentions abuse for these types of technology can possibly be just as dangerous as data breaches. While information like your name, address, password, and credit card details can be leaked through most data breaches. I can foresee issues of abusing the knowledge in tracking what people are doing and where they may be. Facial recognition also may complicate through false recognitions with similar faces or even twins. There could be a lot of abuse through the system for people that simply have common faces and the system labels an individual incorrectly. The system may not be all bad if used in only locations like malls and supermarkets to prevent theft, but I cannot oversee the issue of incorrect recognition possibly blaming the wrong people for crimes. Amazon may be overstepping in creating this technology, as I do not believe facial recognition and technology has advanced enough to efficiently integrate it in our society.

  11. Daibelis Acevedo March 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    After reading through this article the first thing that came to my mind is how severely controversial this topic is. I can see how Amazon’s facial recognition can make a lot of improvements for our society and the country, overall but at the same time, there are hundreds of reasons why this can negatively impact citizens. The fact that the government or law enforcement can look up what we do online whenever they want is enough invasion of the world’s privacy and I do think that is as far as they should go. Being able to tell what someone is doing, who they are, what they do, and every single detail about them is going to get out of hand. As it says in the article, “experts say, tech has vast potential to be abused,” I definitely agree with this idea. Of course, Amazon and law enforcement will say that this will only be used for the good. I can see how this system will help our country in finding criminals, catching people who should be behind bars and making the justice system easier. The only thing I am worried about is the fact that our justice system is already messed up as it is, and it can get worse if such a powerful system is put into their hands. It’s scary to think of all the racial discrimination that has already happened with the technology and resources we have available now and I certainly think that think that this kind of improvement and access to one’s daily life can only increase the racial injustices that are already happening. I think this kind of innovation needs to go through a lot of tests and needs to have regulations, it can not just be something that is decided because of the pros, because a huge list of cons is to follow. I liked how the article includes a direct quote from a current Amazon employee. I am sure that this kind of innovation is exciting to employees, but they are also concerned about the negativity this can bring. “It’s hard to trust that harm and abuse can be prevented,” said the employee. The Rekognition tool is definitely a great invention and it will help law enforcement, but I don’t think the pros outweigh the cons, there is too much at risk. It’s going to turn into such a controlled society, where people have to watch each and every single step of what they do. It’s going to be difficult for people to feel comfortable in their own body to even go to the corner store. In general, the issue at hand is only going to hurt our society more and it’s just a step too deep into our personal lives.

  12. Andrew Kenny March 1, 2019 at 7:44 pm #

    Amazon has done it again. I feel like every new development, technology, etc. has something to do with Jeff Bezos’ super-power of a company. This technology is extremely futuristic, and reminds me so much of old spy movies I grew up watching. “Rekognition” is going to be a very integral tool in helping law enforcement and even governmental agencies. It will be interesting to see just how accurate something like this can really be. Personally, I find it impressive that there already is a patent for this technology. I hope that it is used for good, but with anything nowadays, there are always drawbacks.
    The privacy invasion is definitely going to be an eyebrow raiser for many people. If an app can scan my face, identify me, and tell me what I do for a living, I would be a tad concerned too. I understand how great the uses can be, and apparently it has not led to any problems for law enforcement that has tested it out. I do not think it is necessary for the everyday civilian to have access to it, because it can be abused and used the wrong way. I can already see a large rejection to the technology, especially in countries that are paranoid about online safety, like Germany. As Americans, I do see a future with this, but there has to be many regulations put on place to control its use to avoid discrimination, invasion of privacy, and spying. Freedom of speech will most likely be the biggest hurdle that this causes, as pointed out by the article. Your face can be matched to any words you say, which is scary because the facial recognition can be used on people at a protest or rally by cops. Then your face will be forever attached to what you were a part of, good or bad.
    Before this patent passes, and becomes everyday technology used here in America, I would like to see more confidence in it by Amazon employees themselves. If their own workers are not sure of all the benefits and downsides, I do not want it spreading to the public. I do believe in the evolution of technology to better our world, but with what price will it come? Our rights and privacy should be taken into consideration before implementing such a powerful new tool.

  13. Raymond Wilkinson IV March 1, 2019 at 8:02 pm #

    Amazons patent to be quite honest sounds frightening to most at first read. Though this patent is nothing new. This patent is something our phones already do, taking for example the IPhone X which only relies on Face ID now. Many people do not realize that not only Apple, but androids as well have been making use of this practice for a while now. So why is there such backlash with this idea? Because of the idea that they are always watching you? Or questions of what amazon needs this information for? Most are stuck on how Amazon would store this information.
    Package theft has become an increasingly prevalent issue. Personally, I do not see how facial recognition would stop someone from getting in a cardboard box. I also see no purpose of Amazon having this information. I do not see what they would use this information for. I only see a multitude of opportunities of misuse with this information. Amazon has also proposed the idea of using facial identification to allow deliverers to enter your home. Amazon states this would prevent package theft. They have also purchased the company Ring which is the technology for cameras on doorbells. I do not agree with this use of the technology, however the idea to use this technology to identify potential criminals and people have taken your package makes sense. This technology also features a tracking feature which could be very advantageous in catching said criminals.
    This new recognition technology has many potential ups and downs to it with the right use I feel it can be implanted to create a safer neighborhood for many people.

  14. DawnJ March 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm #

    Wow, it is amazing just how far technology has come. And wow…it is amazing just how far Jeff Bezos and others will go to exploit individual privacy. According to the article, Mr. Bezos has yet to publicly address the concerns over the company’s Rekognition tool. Mr. Bezos is beginning to concern me. He could do the world a huge disservice with his new ideas. And he has the means to see his ideas through. He certainly has the wealth to carry out his ideas and with that he may also have the power to get his way. Already he has basically monopolized retail – take a look around at all the retail stores going out of business. No small business stands a chance against Amazon either, since Amazon routinely price competes and ends up knocking the small guy out of business. Jeff Bezos seems to be working diligently to take what it wants and wants to be the only man standing in whatever endeavors he undertakes.

    I think this is far too much power for one person to have, for better or worse. I believe that a recognition system such as what Amazon proposes will have its flaws and make incorrect identifications, which could lead to people being accused of crimes they did not commit. This is a new level of invasion to everyone’s privacy and it could also be an enormous step in the wrong direction where corrupt individuals in government, law enforcement, and right on down to everyday criminals could put all of us at risk. Yes, the world, people, and technology evolves but when and where do we draw a moral line? Just because we ‘can’ do something does not mean we ‘should’ do it.

  15. Alexander Dornbierer March 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm #

    After reading Ms. Alba’s article there were main parts that I found interesting and at some points confusing. The author stated that the facial recognition technology would clamp down on people’s first amendment right. Mostly the right to free speech. The new technology would see people who are at rallies or at protests and demonstrations. This could have a negative affect on the community. I don’t personally agree with that state meant because I believe that if you believe in a subject or a cause strongly enough to go to a rally or a protest than you should have no problem with people seeing you there. Whether it be visually or through technology. That’s saying if you go to the Pro-Life rally and a TV camera catches you or your neighbor sees you at the rally. You should be proud of being seen at the rally or at the protest if you believe with it strongly enough. The article also brings up facial recognition technology to be used for law enforcement. I believe that facial recognition for law enforcement is a way to protect the public in the future. One of my favorite shows on tv, Arrow, constantly has the main group of vigilantes finding the villain’s location through facial recognition. If the police departments, the federal agencies, and the military get hand on this technology than it will be easier than ever to pin point the enemy’s location to perform an efficient take down or capture. Where I might agree with the use of facial recognition technology, I also see areas where it could be unnecessary and breaking of people’s privacy. My Father says that he is “off the grid” when he leaves the house and goes somewhere without his phone. While he is partially right the new facial recognition technology would totally throw that phrase out of the air. While he might not have his phone on him being tracked where ever he may go his is always going to be identified. Some people might not have a problem with this but there will always be people out there who get mad at everything. The local banker going to the super market to pick up milk wouldn’t mind as much as the electrician leaving his house to meet up with his “side peace” at the local hotel. The facial recognition technology has both its positives and negatives, so like everything else we need to find the right amount of it to be used on a daily basis.

  16. Rachel Leto March 1, 2019 at 8:25 pm #

    My first thought about Amazon Rekognition, after reading this article, was fear. Amazon is making technology that can scan your face and be able to tell who you are and other personal information. It is able to tell who a person is by “facial recognition” and their “special features” and then confirm who the person is by personal information, like an address. I wish I could say that I could have seen this coming because of the facial recognition being able to open up apps that would make you use a password otherwise to open, but I did not see it going this far. This is going to track people in public, just living their daily lives. This will know how interacts with who and what people do in their free time. I agree with Jennifer Lynch, in the article she mentions that people will feel like that they no longer have freedom of speech. Feeling as though you no longer have the First Amendment right to say what you want to, is absurd.
    The article mentions how this could be a good thing, such as if a child goes missing and they cannot find them or to help keep laws enforced. However, I can see this going very south, very fast. This is because people can use this to just track people and where they go just because their appearance looks sketchy. Amazon is already testing this is Orlando police department, Washington County’s Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, and has already made its way to the FBI. They have claimed that there has not been a report of misuse of the technology yet. This does not mean that it will never happen. It is even unsettling to know what the employees of Amazon are still skeptical about the technology because they are the ones using it and/or controlling it. To know that there has been no formal announcement of this happening and it is already being tested is not okay. I believe that we have officially brought technology too far and it is time to think about our morals more than what is an easier way to track people.

  17. Josh Shupper March 4, 2019 at 4:20 pm #

    Amazon has come up with yet another way to potentially hurt or help their reputation as a company along with relationships with their customers. This time around, the company wants to use technology to help recognize individuals by facial recognition and other factors. This technology, known as Rekognition, can be used to identify individuals and also find out about their jobs. There is definitely some concern about another potential complaint from customers about having privacy rights violated. At the same time, this technology could be used to catch all of the bad guys roaming around the world doing bad things. I like the idea of using this technology only for good things and that would mean that the technology Rekognition should not be associated with Amazon. Why? It seems pretty simple. Amazon wants to get as much information as they can about their customers so they have a huge database. However, there are better uses for this type of technology and most certainly a better fit. It is not Amazon who should be using this type of technology. The Government and specifically talking about agencies like the FBI and CIA should use this technology as part of their investigations and trying to go after criminals all over the nation and all over the world too. Think about this question. Would it be better for society that a company like Amazon has way too information on their customers and are basically stalking them or would it be better for the FBI and the CIA to have control of the Rekognition systems to track down the bad guys? I think the answer is very clear and it is obvious that it would be better for the FBI and CIA to have the Rekognition system to benefit their agencies. It would be a huge part of their job to have the Rekognition system to hunt down criminals internationally. These agencies also would not be stalking millions of Amazon customers across the globe, and therefore people would be more likely to be protected regarding individual privacy rights than what Amazon is trying to do with their new creation. Amazon should not have to use this because they already have enough information from their customers. Rekognition should be used by the United States Government and all of the agencies associated with the United States.

  18. Brandon S. March 5, 2019 at 9:25 pm #

    Facial recognition software has been a buzz-word amongst the tech community for years now, but the reality of the software was always very different from how it was promised in the sci-fi movies. Amazon recently filed a patent for a new sort of facial recognition software that could track who you are, what you do, and where you are all by seeing and analyzing your face. The patent was filed in August of 2017, but was made publicly available last Thursday. Amazon intends to pitch its facial recognition software to various law enforcement agencies, and has even reportedly pitched it to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Last November, seven house democrats sent a letter to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, requesting a more thorough explanation of the software and its intended uses. Internally, Amazon hopes to use their facial recognition to stop package thieves, which is a growing problem for Amazon. Personally, I think facial recognition tools are very powerful when in the right hands, but I do not necessarily think Amazon is the right hands. Amazon is inherently a “big data” company, and many other big data companies, Facebook for example, have been under fire for selling private or confidential user information for purposes other than those listed in the privacy policy statements. While using this type of software to catch package thieves may be a nobel ambition, there are other ways to go about this issue, and Amazon definitely has the money and infrastructure to develop a less invasive solution. For law enforcement however, I think facial recognition software can be a valuable tool, and what better company to develop such a software than Amazon because, again, they have the money and resources to do it. The article mentions that there are currently very few laws and regulations put into place as to how facial recognition software can be used by intelligence agencies or law enforcement. I believe that the law making needs to take precedence before facial recognition can be handed to every police department in the country. Amazon wrote a blog post outlining a set of guidelines to Congress with how they should regulate facial recognition software and I believe that that is the right direction for Congress to take. These regulations and laws should be written by the very same people developing the software as only they know it best.

  19. Lillie Moran March 6, 2019 at 4:21 pm #

    This isn’t the first time we have seen facial recognition begin to move into the market. The newest iPhone model allows one to unlock his or her phone using facial recognition; however, Amazon’s newest patent application is taking this concept to an entire new level. Under this application, Amazon will now be able to determine each person and use visuals to determine the work you are able to do, and track your location. Amazon’s argument, pitched to law enforcement agencies, is centered around the idea that law enforcement will benefit from this technology in order to help identify criminals; however, I don’t think that this is Amazon’s actual reason behind wanting to integrate this new technology into their market. I believe they are marketing mostly towards law enforcement because in the eyes and argument of safety, this piece of technology will be approved because it serves a purpose for the greater good of the population. One of the most alarming parts about this new technology is that identifying a person using “unique identifiers” isn’t thoroughly explained. It is said that types of clothing and residence will play a major role in determining the individual, but what does this mean for privacy of individuals? Under this new patent application, there is virtually none. Although credit card information and other personal information such as an email address can be accessed by companies through an individual’s use of social media, this technology is now looking at our personal appearance, rather than identifying us by a number. Technology will now be the sole determining power of our everyday actions. Over time, we will now be constantly monitored by Amazon and it will now give this large company access to personal information that has never been shared before.

    Although this is a question of digital privacy, there are some parts of this new application that aren’t necessarily different from social media sites and even the iPhone product itself. Most everyone in the United States, and throughout the world are connected through social media accessed through a smart phone, and the most popular smartphone, the iPhone is one that takes personal information daily. A setting on the iPhone, Find my Friends, allows a user to spot the location of him or herself and other people simply by opening the app, where you can find the exact location of someone at any time. The Apple Pay setting on the phone allows your phone to act as a credit card, where you enter all of your personal banking information and you can scan your phone in many stores in order to purchase things. Along with these two settings on the iPhone, there is also hundreds of social media sites where your personal email address and phone number are being used by large companies in order to obtain information about you in order to sell new products to you. So why is Amazon under so much fire for this new patent? My answer is that this new technology is not really different than that of the iPhone has been using for many years. In fact, this new application may be even less invasive than that of the iPhone, so we need to draw the line somewhere. If Amazon’s patent is not to be passed, then Apple’s entire foundation of the iPhone, that virtually connects almost everyone in the world, is at stake.

  20. Diamond Vasquez March 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm #

    The upcoming Rekognition technology sounds pretty scary to me. According to “Amazon Filed A Patent Application For Tech That Could Link You To Your Identity and Job,” an article published by Davey Alba, Amazon has signed an application for a new technology that can identify people and their occupations just by their facial features and their wardrobe. Though Amazon is not officially integrating this technology to the company, they have a keen interest in this Rekognition technology. With this application being filed, Amazon has received public outcry over privacy concerns; as explained in the article, “Facial recognition can be used to surveil people at a public protest or chart people’s movements through a town based on where their faces show up on camera.” Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney with the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, describes how this effect can reduce people’s freedom of speech, and this effect is seen as being discriminatory towards different races. Though, Amazon has made claims to this technology being useful for finding children and preventing package theft, along with claiming that “it had ‘not received a single report of misuse by law enforcement’ over the software,” as described in the article, some Amazon employees are still concerned on the usage of this tool and question the misuse of the Rekognition technology; as explained by an Amazon employee, “It’s hard to trust that harm and abuse can be prevented if it is only postmortem and through the Terms of Service.”

    To be honest, I would be concerned about this new tool that Amazon filed a patent application for. It seems pretty sketchy because this technology can track your identity and what you do based on your facial features and what you wear. Yes, I see how this technology can prevent package theft, along with being a guide to find missing children, but this sort of technology can easily be misused, and potentially be abused, by people. Today, we see how different applications are tracking us using their apps on our phones and, at times, phone calls can be tracked as you are making a phone call. We should be careful with technology used today because we never know who is watching. In my opinion, I would not trust this technology.

  21. Erick Plaza March 7, 2019 at 4:47 pm #

    Amazon recently filed a patent for technology that could scan your face and identify who you are, and potentially track you as you move around. Amazon’s new facial recognition technology has both pros and cons. The number one con which was inevitable with this type of technology is privacy. One concern could be law enforcement using this technology to racially profile people, or track innocent peoples’ movements without them even knowing. Especially, with law enforcement having many incidents nowadays with racial discrimination. For example, an African American could be walking down the street wearing a hoodie, and because a cop assumes the worst from this individual, and thinks it is okay to use this technology to track their movements without any consent, this individual could be being tracked without even knowing, which is a huge invasion of privacy. Although, this technology is already being implemented by Orlando police department, Washington County’s Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, and the FBI. Another con to this technology is vulnerability to being hacked by cyber criminals. Just like any other technology which is connected to the internet, this facial recognition software could potentially be hacked as well, and be used for illegal acts. If someone hacked into the system and started selling the information on this software, which would be virtually everyone’s information, could turn into a large scale crime.

    Although the privacy aspect may seem intimidating, this technology can also have its pros. The facial recognition technology can assist in finding criminals quicker, or missing people. For example, if someone robbed a house, and that house did not have any cameras, but the street lights had cameras with the facial recognition technology, this would facilitate the search for this individual significantly. Investigations will be made much easier for law enforcements, and potentially will make criminals think twice before doing unlawful acts. In general I believe this facial recognition technology will be wrongfully received by the public, since no one will be want to be watched and profiled 24/7, especially in the “land of the free”. I do recognize the positives that this technology may have, but this tool allows too much power to whomever is controlling it.

  22. Joseph Oates March 7, 2019 at 8:13 pm #

    This article, Amazon Filed A Patent Application For Tech That Could Link You To Your Identity And Job, brings up a very scary idea that Amazon is trying to work on. With the technology to scan someone’s face and to be able to tell someone’s personal information on a whim is something that many of us saw in movies but now see it as a reality. This mega giant of a company is starting to grasp the next age of technology. They will start to try to use this technology to tell personal information that you can not get with only online services. Trying to watch you walk into a food service or what movie you might see on a friday night to their advantage. They would be able to push advertisements to you based around your everyday life. Giving you advertisements one day for Starbucks, then the next day Dunkin Donuts after you stop to get coffee. They would have the ability to maximize marketing to the fullest way possible, however this is a very large legal issue that they could face. Many people could see this as a invasion of personal privacy. They would have to find a way to block anyone that has not signed up to their website in the past. To not have consent as they look at this information could be a law suit. As well as an lawsuits that could come from selling any information to other companies. Facebook was brought to congress for this situation last year. This type of information is worth its weight in gold that many companies would pay for.
    The other situation that is brought up in this article is the possibility of law enforcement getting their hands on this technology. This will half a split reaction now that law enforcement has the ability to use this kind of technology. Being able to find someone with a camera and typing in their name to see where they were last is a scary possibility. It would be a very tricky issue for the law side of the argument. One side would argue that this is an issue of privacy and that law enforcement would need a warrant to use this. However this could fall under the Patriot Act with the way the government could use this. Having this could help those that are looking for a mass murder or rapest that is on the loose. After the Boston marathon bomber attacked the runners at the finish line, law enforcement spent hundreds of man bower looking for the two brothers. With this technology in their hands they could have found them very quickly and had them in custody sooner. Davey brings up however the idea of the government tracking those that take part in rallies about the government. This is a possibility depending on the government that is in power at the time. However with our current government isn’t going to go after those at rallies as long as they do not harm others. People however have showed that with just pictures now they are able to find people in rallies and protests. This technology is a very scary new idea that will either help those in law enforcement and marketing, or have us followed 24/7.

  23. Jack F Comfort March 7, 2019 at 9:20 pm #

    This patent feels like a huge invasion of privacy, being able to track who you are and what you do for a living all through you’re face is stepping over a line. This technology would be better implemented if it was for the law enforcement or security agencies, but for Amazon seems unnecessary and invasive. Why a company like Amazon would ever need this technology, a company who has an online marketplace does not need to be able track people by their faces. What if someone was able to hack into this technology and be able to identify and even steal someone’s identity just with their face. They can mine their data through a variety of different avenues and tracking people’s faces doesn’t need to be one of them

  24. Allya Jaquez March 7, 2019 at 11:23 pm #

    After reading this article, I feel as though good and bad things can happen once the facial recognition is put into play. This new technology that they are considering is called Rekognition. I feel as though they are really risking their relationships with all of their customers because not everyone will agree to this. This new technology is supposed to recognize the face of an individual and point out exactly what that person does for a living. In my opinion, I honestly do not think this is a smart move because I feel as though this is an invasion of privacy and will most likely keep people from buying items off of Amazon and contributing to their success. And also with that in mind, who knows who is actually looking at a picture of you and who knows your background. I just do not think in some cases that this is really safe. Another problem that is brought up is the fact that the law might get their hands on this new product that they are trying to enforce. I know a lot of people have a problem with the government always “watching us” and it will definitely concern a lot of individuals. I know that Amazon is trying to use the Rekognition device for those who get their packages stolen but it just does not seem right and it all sounds just very suspicious. People should also stop taking packages from others because none of this would even be in the news if it weren’t for those individuals who decide to do that. Amazon should probably rethink this new technology idea and think about all the customers they might lose due to this action that they are taking.

  25. Richard Gudino March 8, 2019 at 11:02 am #

    Ever since our privacy was signed off in the Patriot Act there seems to be a growing concern over the government having too much power to allow them to look through a camera lens. If the eyes are a window to the soul then the cameras the government uses to spy on the population are the window to the misdeeds. Still as there is the growing concern of the people there is still a far too large population of people that have no idea that they are being monitored. Now Amazon has already figured out a way to stay in the homes of people, know what it is they like in terms of food and other products they might be interested. It seems that is not enough for Amazon, they really want to get to know you and understand you more like that one crazy ex-girlfriend that will not stop messaging you. Amazon now wants to be able to identify you by your face and your choice of clothing, all to be able to say that’s John Doe who works as an accountant. Now it is only a patent and the article correctly states that it doesn’t mean that they are working on it right away, what it means is that they have an interest that they need to explore and possibly work on in the future. There have been other articles on the Shannon blog that describe what this BuzzFeed article mentions briefly which is the racial bias. We know now that even algorithms are subject to bias and discrimination, why though? It falls back again to Fei Fei Li who said we need more diversity in the field of coding and computer science, because everything that we produce is an extension of the creator, so because there is bias and racism is some of us our programs will reflect that. There have also been articles that say it doesn’t matter what skin color you have there will still be bias and discrimination because we all have preferences. I could see this new face identity going wrong, there does exist people that look really similar to each other. I am particularly looking for instances of minorities or Asians being identified wrongly by the program. This could or could not be as a result of racism or could just be that some stereotypes are rooted in some truth. Either way this program seems like it has a lot of obstacles that it is going to need to overcome and think about. For instance how is it going to tell identical twins apart that dress similarly. These are just the small things that need to be taken into account.

  26. Peter Honczaryk March 8, 2019 at 11:53 am #

    This new patent that amazon is creating is something that many movies have had as a source of power which can be used by far worse people that re trying to use it for unlawful purposes. The movies always start off with the villain trying to capture the most powerful facial recognition processor to use for evil. The hero has to then find a way to stop it from falling into the wrong hands because it is the end of privacy as we know it. That is essentially what is going on with Amazon. They are going to have a full length of power if they are able to use this technology to scan someone’s face and find out what they are worth. Imagine that something like this is hacked and it will give hackers the power to identify the wealthiest people and possibly steal their money and other possible expense they have. This is dangerous for a company this big to have even more power than they need. Of course there upsides to this such as finding criminals who are on the run or prevent possible crimes from happening in the future. I amazon actually makes this technology work, they will no doubt become the richest corporation in the world. Other companies will want to have that type of power and try to get them to sell it for millions of dollars which can then be used by those corporations to identify if they should or should not trust certain people. It will give companies the ability to figure out if someone is a trusting employee or if they are worth hiring, or if they are trying to sell something, they can use the technology to sell or prevent someone from buying something. Bottom line, this facial recognition technology is very dangerous to have in the world and can affect many people and is a complete violation of privacy for everyone in the world. It will be unfair for a company such as amazon to have power they should not.

  27. Vincent Perez March 8, 2019 at 3:31 pm #

    “Reckognition” is Amazon’s latest patented app regarding facial recognition technology. This new face recognition technology patented by Amazon creates, at least for me, a mix feeling of excitement and fear. For one part its exciting to see these new technologies rising so we can see and experience the potential and use to the advancements in technology to see how far we have come. Its interesting to see how Amazon is kind of ignoring all the critiques that come their way regarding security and personal information protection but still going in with a technology that can say who people are, their jobs and more information by just seeing them through the lens of the cameras of the devices they are using.

    Amazon is protecting “Reckognition” by justifying its use as a mean of protection for finding missing children or even preventing package theft. But even though it is an exciting technology, I must admit I am afraid. As we have seen in the past, huge companies, such as Sony, Yahoo or even the Marriot hotels has been hacked and compromised millions of user’s personal information such as credit cards, names, addresses, you name it. Now, with this type of technology, in the case of a hack, not only will hackers have all that, but even, a picture and even the job of millions of people, because Amazon is the world’s largest retailer, so its database is enormous.

    Given that most of us have Amazon accounts we will fell stalked by the company because without us knowing they are watching us and they know exactly who we are and what we do. As an Amazon’s own employee said that it is hard to trust that harm and abuse can be prevented just by accepting terms and conditions. When Amazon finally decides to use this technology it will be a whole new learning curve for customers to understand that we are being watch non stop and know all the details in our lives. I know Amazon will be implementing this technology to improve how they recommend things to customers, improve customer service and even package security, but I really don’t think is a perfect idea given the possible security breaches that can happen.

    The reality is that technology will keep pushing further, will keep improving and pushing boundaries we’ve never seen before, so we, as customers, must get used to things like this, specially in online businesses. Right now, I feel that this technology is a double edge sword for amazon. Yes, it will make customers amazed at how far we have come, how can technology, without saying a word can just say exactly who you are personally and professionally. But it can also cause a huge amount of controversy around the globe by people expressing the unconformity of being “spied”. Also, it can bring a lot of legal problems for Amazon given that there is no law protecting a technology exactly like this one, so maybe internet privacy laws might get modified to either benefit or punish Amazon.

  28. Hassan Elzeeny March 8, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

    I am not too sure how to feel about Amazon’s new facial recognition system. To me it really depends on how it is used and who is using it. For example, if this is something that is strictly used by law enforcement to make investigations easier than it can be a great system. Most likely it will be used for much more than that whether they tell us or not. First, to me this is possibly gonna be a major invasion of privacy. This is especially the case with if this is able to see medical records etc. Secondly, I believe it will be unfair to use this as possibly a way to determine who gets a job or not. For example, this could be used in a similar manner to China’s social credit system. What China’s social credit system does is it gives every Chinese citizen a rating based on their economic and social status, receiving perks and restrictions accordingly. The government would also have access to data regarding specific behaviours, like any traffic violations and spending habits, making it easier to obtain loans and or secure employment. To me there are too many issues to carry out a system like this. One issue this system brings is it does not leave people room to make mistakes in their lives. Every mistake would even if it is minor would bring you closer to a point where you cannot live efficiently which to me is not fair. Another issue I have with a system like this is it gives too much power the creators of the system to determine what good morals and ethics are. I also believe that Amazon’s facial recognition system can cause many problems. For example, I do not believe it is okay to assume someone’s profession based on their body type, clothes, etc. I also believe that it can lead to assumptions based on gender and race which is already a major issue in today’s society. A question I have is who is monitoring this system and how safe is our data? This is a system that if it lands in the wrong hands can be a major crisis. Not only would our data be with someone who should not have it, but implementing a system like this can possibly cause a major spike in fraud cases in the United States. Overall, I think a facial recognition system can have some major positive impacts. For example, it can the help government identify and monitor fraud and intellectual property theft. But, in my opinion the negatives and possible issues of implementing Amazons facial recognition system far outweigh the positives. Amazons facial recognition system puts too many people’s privacy and data at risk for it to be used in today’s society. I know we really do not have much of a say on if this system is allowed, but I believe Amazon should be very careful before implementing their new facial recognition system because of the many possible issues it could bring to the public.

  29. Doran Abdi March 8, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

    It seems as if every other comment that I am writing about tends to about how the advancement of technology is leading to a less and less private world. Essentially, the present-day society has reached a point where majority of the information of the personal lives of many is all accessible through the internet or through newly developed technology. While, in this case I am still very unsure in why Amazon is deciding to develop such a technology where it is able to easily detect one’s identity and occupation. I can understand that such a largely resourced company with a huge heart for innovation like Amazon is hoping to fulfill a patent in this revolutionary “Rekognition” technology, yet even after reading Amazon’s explanation of this new technology (https://docs.aws.amazon.com/rekognition/latest/dg/what-is.html), what would Amazon’s purpose be for using this technology? It is hard to imagine how Amazon would want to develop this technology and somehow be able to use it in the application of their company’s main purpose in selling and delivering goods. Yet, even as someone who is very fond of innovation especially in the technological field, this step forward makes me feel a little uneasy and even frightened. There is no doubt in my mind that if the authorities or the government would want to identify who you are based off of a security camera that they would be able to do so, but this innovation is essentially making it much easier for one to be identified constantly. Even with as many problems I may have with this innovation from Amazon, I can see how this would be able to be used for the benefit of the public. As the article mentions, it can be used for identifying a missing child or finding something that has been stolen or is lost, yet the technology still allows for a great possibility for it be abused which what scares me the most. Additionally, I do not know how Amazon will respond to the developing of this technology as many people in the world are beginning to resent any form of invasion of privacy and this new technology will be substantial enough of an invasion of privacy for people to become uneasy. I am not sure how this technology will end up being used and how it will be used, but I can only hope that it is not taken advantage of and is used in a fashion that still ensures the privacy of the people.

  30. Kevin Metz March 8, 2019 at 7:35 pm #

    I believe that this article is written from a bias that is not in favor of “Rekognition.” They clearly discredit the potential benefits of this technology and emphasize the minimal risks into what seems like disastrous problems. Yes, the software could be misused by the police but that is like saying that guns can be misused as well but they are a necessity amongst law enforcement to protect civilians from those with bad intentions. For the issue brought up about racial bias, it is the author of this post trying to claw at an issue that would not be present with this technology. They speak of public protests and how those participating would be limiting their freedom of speech is just utterly incorrect. It is a public protest for a reason, you are not hiding the things you say or do, and the same things could be recorded by anyone passing through with a smartphone handy. Majority, if not all, of the problems discussed in the article are problems that are already present in society or simply just foolish arguments to try and stop the government from having the power to stop crime much more efficiently. The positives that are mentioned in the article can be so beneficial to society and they are undermined by the negatives that because of the authors writing techniques. The ability to locate a missing child based off of their recent sightings from various cameras around the world would be a huge step up in the productivity of law enforcement. This can also be said about the locating and capturing of criminals who are on the run. Locating them on traffic cameras or cameras at gas stations would be a cost effective and time saving way of making the men and women in uniform jobs much easier. The bias in this article takes away from the benefits of the technology so much that it makes it seem like a bad thing for this “Rekongnition” to be enabled in the world and make the society a safer, and smarter place to live.

  31. Demetri Allen March 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm #

    Davey Alba describes an interesting venture that Amazon is partaking in. Personally, I am fully against Amazon integrating facial recognition technology. The implications of this patent could have catastrophic consequences. As it stands facial recognition is in its infancy and as of right now its most implicated role is to unlock your iPhone. However, Amazon wants to capitalize on that untapped potential with technology that’s advanced enough to identify what job you have. My problem with this is that I do not want to give Amazon or any company, more information than I have too. Amazon filed for the patent with an intent to pitch it to law enforcement agencies across the country which in a logic standpoint makes perfect sense. Law enforcement agencies are really the only ones who could put technology like that to proper use. Being to track and identify suspects in criminal scenario would benefit society. However, the problem is that the technology is patented by Amazon. Why would the world’s biggest e-commerce marketplace need to develop something like this? The fact that they own the rights to a powerful facial raises huge concern for people’s privacy. Keeping tabs on Amazons customers is not their main priority but what is stopping them from gathering more information on their consumers and using to their advantage. For example, the technology has the capability to detect a person’s job based on their clothing and other factors. Amazon could use that information to recommend certain products to their customers based on facial recognition. Perhaps a dentist might get recommended toothpaste. To some this sounds harmless and it certainly would benefit Amazon, but I feel like it is too close to the line in invading people’s privacy. However, what happens if Amazon decides to sell that information to other companies? This the oblique future we are heading to where companies are scrambling to get as much data on you as possible.

  32. Janessa Smith March 8, 2019 at 8:50 pm #

    Amazon filed a patent application for Rekognition technology back in 2017 and the company is now going public with this. Rekognition technology is an image analysis where it can analyze identities. If this Rekognition patent application is approved, a lot of personal privacy will be violated; not just corporate companies violating privacy but with civilians taking advantage of it also. Amazon did not give a destination for this tool so why make it? Where will it be placed? Who all can have it? It is understandable to use this application for law enforcement purposes, but using it just to use it is irractical.
    If and when this patent application is approved, many pros and cons will unleash. One con that could be raised is the safety of everyone. If this technology is used by the wrong person, someone could possibly get hurt. For example, there is a lot of ongoing pedophilia and rape cases nationwide. If a pedophile gains access to this kind of technology, then every child’s safety will be at risk. If a rapist gets ahold of the technology also, everyone is at risk (men are raped too). Another con for this patent is companies violating employee privacy. The Privacy Act of 1974 establishes a code of fair information practices that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. This means that if any information is misused or leaked, that is a violation of this act and companies will get in trouble.
    The pros to Rekognititon is law enforcement use. This would be able to help create solid evidence in a case; it can also help solve ongoing cases. If Amazon decides to give this application to law enforcement, the application can be applied to all video cameras; this would definitely help solve cases and bring the crime rate down drastically. For example, if someone is on the wanted list, the Rekognition application can identify that person on the streets, stores, or anywhere that person has gone. Law enforcement would be able to track down the suspect in a few minutes. Another pro for Rekognition would be cameras verifying employees attendance. Some people don’t notify supervisors of being absent for the day or they might do a no-call-no-show. This application can track attendance, when they go for breaks, or when they leave for the day. Another pro for this application would be prevention of fraud. Impersonating someone is a crime and is used frequently in a workplace. If facial recognition will be used in a workplace, impersonating a manager to get authorization would be hard.
    I believe that Amazon should discontinue the application for this patent for the sake of everyone’s safety. It is very easily to hack a application, and if this application gets breached, no one’s information will be safe. I understand that this might be future technology, but under the circumstances of privacy being violated and the safety of everyone will be at sake, Amazon should not go through with this technology.

  33. Madyson Y. March 12, 2019 at 1:11 pm #

    It is crazy to think in such a short period of time how fast technology has evolved over the years. Not even fifteen years ago were we thinking that robots would possibly take over certain job areas, now it is a constant worry for workers in the manufacturing industry. With the introduction of “Rekognition” from Amazon, technology is growing stronger and watching your every move more clearly than before. If Amazon’s patent application goes through, they will be able to find out who you are and what you do for a profession solely based on scanning your face. This new technology can come with many benefits as well as many threats to society.
    This new technology brought forth by Amazon can help law enforcement greatly. “Rekognition” can help to find a person who went missing as well as a criminal who is roaming the streets. It is great for a worried family whose loved one went missing and needs to be found. Most of the time, a person does not end up lost on purpose. Little kids and elders who have Alzheimer’s cannot retrace their steps and make it home safely. When the family reports the person missing, law enforcement will be able to use facial recognition to identify each and every individual and can narrow down the search just from it. Just like missing people, this technology would be able to track a wanted fugitive quicker than the technology used by law enforcement today. Since our every move will be tracked and we would always be watched, it is possible that the crime rate would decline. However, because of this, people would question their privacy.
    Many people have had negative comments when it comes to “Rekognition” because they feel that it is an invasion of privacy. If this patent passes, Amazon and law enforcement officials would be able to watch your every move 24/7. This can backfire on society because if someone is looking for a job, potential employers can watch footage basically on your whole life and deny your application for an interview. Also, even if Amazon promises privacy, it does not mean it is guaranteed. Facebook promised all of its users in the Terms of Service that their private information would stay just that, private. If Amazon only promises privacy through their Terms of Service as well, then a lot of trust would be lost. The fact that the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has not publicly discusses privacy concerns also shows that they do not seem to care how important privacy is to society.
    Also, the “Rekognition” has been tested through the Orlando police department. As of right now there has not been any report of misuse of “Rekognition” through the police department. However, with this technology leaves a lot of room for abuse. If this technology records people’s faces who are taking part in a rally or movement, the first amendment can be violated due to freedom of speech and possible lawsuits will be waiting at the court doors.

  34. Matt H March 12, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

    I found this article interesting. I think this could be beneficial, however, I also feel like this could be catastrophic. In today’s world privacy is basically nonexistent. Every time a person logs into a computer, you are bombarded with ads that know your interest. Facebook is selling information to companies you never even heard of. The government can track you by just using your cell phone. Limited privacy is becoming a serious issue, however, this device can also be very beneficial to human society.
    Primarily, the article mentions it can help save lost children. I think this is a great feature. This device should be used to catch criminals. I think with this device it would greatly reduce crimes across the world. It would strike fear into criminal’s hearts, and make them think twice before acting. Also, it could potentially stop terrorism. It can help find terrorist that may be trying to blend in with everyday people. This device could be very beneficial for law enforcement to use. However, it could also be a huge downfall. Law enforcement could potentially use this as stalking, and put the public at risk. Also, false arrest can be made because of misidentification. Innocent people could be charged with crimes they never committed. It would strike fear into criminals, but also into the general public.
    Furthermore, this device can be a safety concern. The government will know exactly every step you take. Your hobbies, likes, and even relationship status with all be known by the government. If this device was hacked the entire general public would be put at risk. If a hacker was to obtain the information it could be catastrophic. Personally, I think there is too big of a risk to put this device into action. People should be able to keep what privacy they have left.
    Lastly, I would want to know who is being tracked by this device. I do not think secret service would let the president be tracked, or people of high ranks. This would be unfair to the general public who could be put at risk. I think there is too many flaws to implement this device. Yes, it could prevent crimes from occurring. However, every privacy right to the general public would be violated.
    In my opinion, I think this device could be beneficial to human society. However, I think it is too early to use such a powerful device. If crime rate became astronomically high this device could be implemented. However, as of now, I think this device should be prohibited.

  35. Goanio C March 12, 2019 at 3:47 pm #

    To begin, this is insane. The first thing I feel when reading about the Amazon Rekognition tool is sickness. I feel that it is a complete intrusion on our privacy not only as American citizens, but as human beings. Although the United States Constitution does not officially state our right to privacy, it is heavily implied and respected. Why does a company so rich and thriving need a tool like this? Are there that many package thefts occurring that is costing the company billions? Are there not other facial recognition tools out there in our security systems across the world? What I get from this is a company wanting more power and more control. Why? It is news to me. But I do not see anything other than controversy arising from this tool if it were to be accepted and created. I understand it has the potential to be used for security reasons and to help prevent or even stop the unfortunate unethical crimes some commit. However, millions of people are not going to like the reality that a system and those behind the system will know almost everything about a person just by walking by or in the area of the Rekognition tool. It is creepy and wrong. Personally, I know I would feel like someone is constantly watching me, and no one should have to feel that way.

    The advanced technology it would take to create such a device that needs to be accurate and constantly evolving information is quite impressive. However, that starts to scare many people and rubs many the wrong way. Are we getting too ahead of ourselves? Are we creating and developing technology for our own good? Are we aware of what is to come after putting it out to the public? Do we even care? It is absurd and inhumane that a company wants to develop a system that will essentially spy on anyone and everyone at any moment.

    The fact that the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has not delivered comments about it after being asked turns my stomach the wrong way, as well. It is hard to argue that Amazon is not a great company that has influenced business, culture, technology, and many other fields. But why do they need our personal lives? Why do they need to invade on our privacy. It is all about governmental control. And we are getting closer and closer to it whether it is public or not. The system might have the ability and power to impose an actual new amendment in the Constitution stating a right to privacy after all. Amazon brings products and entertainment and that is all we need them to do. We do not need the company to deliver privacy invading tools and systems into our lives. It is possible they already have and we are not aware of it. However, this tool is out there and I suspect millions of America to be opposed to it. I do not believe we as a country need this tool that badly. I understand the positives and benefits it can bring to society, however I see it as a huge privacy issue and therefore I am against it.

  36. Ryan March 13, 2019 at 1:42 pm #

    There are alot of pro’s and con’s to Amazon’s in development tool called Rekognition. Looking at both sides of the argument, it leaves me questioning where I stand on this matter. On one end, this technology is a just a further development of existing tech and unites all the avenues on one street. We all have SSNs, thus identifying each individual on a personal level. Camera technology is in use to pay EZpass, security for business, and traffic control systems. Furthermore, cameras scan license plates for owners with warrants, expired registration, etc. In a sense, what’s the difference between all these separate techs merging into one master form? The one major negative aspect is who gets to use this tech. Should it be placed in the wrong hands, privacy and injustice could run rampant. Considering law enforcement, I could see this as very essential tool to prevent crime and track down criminals. Nevertheless, this tech should not be used on a business side as to adhere to privacy terms.

  37. Daniel McNulty March 14, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

    In the world we live in today, technology is growing more and more rapidly, and at an alarming rate. As we move forward in this world, humans are beginning to have less and less control as these technologies such are becoming more and more advanced. One of the most known companies for using some of the latest technology is Amazon. They have begun to use different types of robots to perform tasks that humans used to perform, taking away jobs and more. In addition, they have begun using different robots that will even bring the package to the customer’s doorstep, rather than the delivery driver having to get out and walk to the door him or herself. In the near future, Amazon plans to eliminate many more package delivery drivers as they introduce drones. Drones are already being experimented with in places such as the UK and will one day become the new norm. Most recently, Amazon has filed a patent application for some sort of system that will be able to recognize your features and come up with your identity, age, who you are, and even track you as you move around in your day to day life. This technology has been introduced to law enforcement all across the United States. The requesting of the patent does not necessarily mean that Amazon will be implementing all of the features such as the tracking into their “Rekognition” systems, but it does show what they are capable of. The main public concern that is brought up, is the privacy of the individual. Over the past several years, this has been a problem that consistently resurfaces, as seen with Mark Zuckerberg and his company Facebook. In addition, this can also bring back the conversation of racial bias in technology, as that has been a question as of late, and may continue to be. This technology also has the power to be abused very easily, and would be best if not used at all.

  38. Jamila Cuentas March 14, 2019 at 8:07 pm #

    Amazon has proposed the idea of using advance technology that could track someone’s face, clothing or certain objects being identify. The identification used from this technological application could give out personal information, and because of this Amazon has filed a patent for this application. There are many pros and cons that could be applied through this application. Some positive that could be used could be finding missing person, recognize people’s personalities because of clothing recognition that could be applied for job recruits, and even lower crime rates and robberies. Although, the cons of this type of technology could increase racial discrimination against certain groups, privacy will be even worse than it is right now as government and law enforcement can easily intervene anyone’s daily life. Personally, I believe that this time in society, we are using technology to its advantage and abuse too. Also, I do not think that law enforcement should have a hold of this type of technology, as the officer with the wrong thoughts and mindset could use it on anyone he or she feels should be accused of, which could cause a hold towards freedom. Freedom is my main concern with this facial, clothing, and object detector, as no one today is known as anonymous or private accounts are actually private. Amazon hopefully would be responsible with the plan and responsible with who they sell it to as well. I just do not believe that this type of technology is ready to be used in the society we live in that could abuse the purpose of it.

  39. Stephanie F. March 14, 2019 at 11:24 pm #

    This article is interesting because I see the use of this technology as being beneficial but also worrisome for the general public. As most of us already know, facial recognition is not entirely new technology, but it is becoming more and more common. For example, Apple’s newest smartphones, iPhone X, have facial recognition built into the phone as a way for users to unlock their phone with only their face. Facial recognition is an addition to the form of securities used on iPhone such as passcodes and fingerprint ID. Many welcome the facial recognition feature for the purpose of saving them time and convenience, while others think that this was an unnecessary addition to the Apple phone that can pose a threat to our private information. With that said, Apple acquiring the “Facial Rekognition” will provide benefits to a lot of companies but there will also be downsides to the technology.

    While there is an overall perception of facial recognition invading our privacy, I can see the implementation of this technology being more beneficial, especially in times of a crises. With this technology, missing children and victims of human trafficking will be able to be found much easier than ever before. Searches for these missing people could go for as long as weeks, months, or years, but Amazon is claiming that their facial recognition technology could do the work in a significantly less amount of time than human workers. I believe this technology will be able to make a difference by saving the lives of people that could potentially die during the duration of searches.

    In this article, https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/01/fbi-trying-amazons-facial-recognition-software/153888/ FBI agents talk about their positive outlook with Amazon Rekognition. During the catastrophic Los Angeles shooting, human workers spent three weeks tracking the gunman down with surveillance cameras when Amazon Rekognition could do the work that they did in under twenty-four hours. The technology will help FBI agents and analysts focus on applying their skills to other aspects of the investigation or other cases.

    However, there is no denying that the implementation of this technology being used for the general public is still unclear. Amazon has yet to make a statement about the uses of the technology for the general public. Even though businesses are required to ask permission before using any facial recognition technology, once it is used, what happens to that information? Even if the biological information is deleted, there might still be an archive of it in the system. Also, there is no stopping facial recognition from being used without the permission of the people. Similar cases such as ancestry DNA testing companies have used their customers DNA samples for alternative uses. There is no question that facial recognition data will suffer the same fate such as our information being sold or used for other purposes by either the government or criminals. Overall, there is no telling whether the pros or cons will outweigh each other. The pros consist of saving lives while the cons focus on the invasion of our privacy. Even though the risk of our information will be out there in the public for criminals to potentially use, I am willing to accept the usage of Amazon Rekognition if it will provide a way to save more lives every day.

  40. Brian F March 15, 2019 at 2:04 pm #

    I think that this writer’s cause for concern in regards to Amazon’s facial recognition technology is justified. As we are currently seeing with Facebook and their ongoing issues, large tech companies have pretty consistently proven that they should not be trusted to safeguard the data that they collect. Even after multiple scandals, these companies continue to take more data form us than we want to give, and use it for purposes that we do not agree to. Amazon and other companies like it gather enough information about their customers as it already is, so surely it is not necessary for Amazon to create a new software that is specifically designed to accurately predict even more information about users. Beyond that, I don’t even see much of a purpose to the service that Amazon’s Rekognition offers. I can’t imagine how much value someone would get out of Amazon assuming that they are a manager because they wear a shirt and tie on weekdays. At the end of the day, this program seems to only provide marginal benefits to most people while filling Amazon’s storage with even more information about us. Additionally, there is risk in what happens to all of that data after it is collected. Facebook is known to have sold that data without user consent, so it is possible that Amazon may go down that same road by dumping all of your data for some extra cash. Even that would be superior to a hack. Large data caches like what Amazon intends to collect with this software will always be susceptible to theft, but Amazon customers will be the ones who assume all of the exposure, since it is information about them that is being stolen. Amazon’s justification for their new initiative is that it will apparently help solve crimes. Unfortunately, they have talked very little about how that would work, so I can’t even find out if their premise requires the wanted criminal to have used Amazon products at some point before or not. Either way, it seems to me that this is starting to sound more like a George Orwell story than a genuine assistance to law enforcement. Plus, it is known that current versions of facial recognition software are less effective in identifying both women and people of color. It would be irresponsible, then, to use a technology this early in its development to assist in tracking down criminals. That isn’t even the only ethical issue. It seems as though significant surveillance would be required in order to the facial recognition programming to even be usable, because it is unclear what else software would be analyzing. That should not be acceptable in a free society like the United States. All of that is why we are not ready for technology like facial recognition to take such a prominent role in our society.

  41. Viviana B March 15, 2019 at 8:03 pm #

    Amazon is a company that started with a simple goal of selling and delivering items to one’s door. It later improved its services to deliver packages in the least amount of time possible. Today, we are surrounded by amazon’s Alexa devices, amazon’s doorknob and camera devices, and already in the making, amazon’s flying drones. Amazon’s power in the tech world is growing at such a rapid pace, that humans are failing to recognize the potential impact it can have on society. Amazon can track consumers’ shopping preferences or interests and money spending power through online shopping experiences on their website. In addition, they can locate where their consumers live, or work based on the places they are having their packages being delivered. Amazon’s Alexa device allow the company to obtain recorded conversations or video recordings through the new Echo Spot or Echo Show. Although amazon’s doorknobs provide more convenience and safety in the delivery of our packages, it essentially provides the company with an open opportunity to invade our privacy a step further, directly into our homes. The future of drone technology being used to deliver our packages at a much faster rate will also provide Amazon with more knowledge about their consumers.

    As if all this technology was not enough, now Amazon has decided to create their rekognition devices to track us even more. It will be like having a personal stalker that knows all kinds of information about individuals by just looking at them. The system will be able to track all of our footsteps in order to identify where we are and what we are doing at all times. Truthfully, I doubt Amazon is just doing this for the “greater good” and obtaining no benefit from this invention. By acquiring more information on consumers’ daily tasks, Amazon will be able to target their consumer markets more efficiently and accurately. They could also use all the information they acquire to sell to other vendors and companies.

    The idea that the rekognition device will be able to identify a person’s occupation simply by what they wear is appalling. As a business person, the assumed attire is formal to business casual. However, when I am not working, I usually dress in active wear. Therefore, this raises the question, will Amazon’s facial rekognition system detect me as being a fitness trainer when I am not working? Usually, healthcare providers tend to not wear their scrub and lab coat uniform when out of their practice settings. Will the device also fail to recognize a person as a doctor or nurse? Also, there are many other businesses such aesthetics practices or dental offices where staff use scrubs as uniform. How will the rekogniton device differentiate between a nurse or dentist? Aside from wrongfully identifying an individual’s occupation, the device could also demonstrate bias. It is assumed that the device will be created through algorithms and past statistics. The system could fail to recognize a person’s actual occupation due to their race, ethnicity, or gender. For example, females are less likely to be in a political position than males. Therefore, amazon’s rekognition device could fail to identify a female as a teacher instead of a politician. This would be as a result of the higher numbers of females in teaching occupations rather than political positions. If Amazon’s technology continues to advance at this rate, it will eventually have the power to know more about us than we know about ourselves.

  42. Dean Elnagar March 15, 2019 at 8:12 pm #

    I feel that Amazon’s Rekognition tool could go really well or could go really bad. I do feel that this tool would be very helpful to law enforcement in finding missing children and also help decrease the amount of package thefts. But if this were to get into the wrong person’s hands, this tool could end up being a disaster. The Rekognition tool claimed that it would be able to look at what a person is wearing to determine what profession said person works in. I don’t really see how the tool would be able to match how a person is dressed to what profession they work in without some sort of stereotyping. At some point the tool is going to make a mistake and offend someone which will not turn out well for Amazon. Like how would the tool be able to tell the difference between an accountant or a stock broker. Both professions have similar dress attires so how can the tool tell the two apart? The Rekognition tool has already been put to the test with a couple of different police departments along with the FBI and they have yet to receive a single report of misuse. I feel like that will not last long if they were to go national with the tool. The Rekognition tool has its pros and cons but ultimately I don’t think that it is the best idea for Amazon to pursue this tool any further.

  43. Kyle R. March 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm #

    This article discusses a filed patent application by Amazon for tech that could your face, and potentially track you as you move around. This is a very controversial topic that raises concerns in the ethical, legal, and security environments. People can argue that this technology can be used for good and bad. In a good way, this would help the police and FBI to track down criminals in a much easier and more timely manner. In the article, it says that “Amazon has maintained that Rekognition has many useful applications, including finding missing children and preventing package theft”. They would know where people have been, are going and where to stop them. However, on the other hand this is a huge invasion of privacy in my opinion. What gives Amazon the FBI or anyone else the right to track me and where I am going. This could be argued that it is a infringement on people’s freedom. The article states “When people live in societies like that, it clamps down on their freedom of speech”. This goes against what freedom is to me. Someone could track me even is they have no reason too. Also in today’s society hacking is a huge concern for many counties and companies. Aidan Nathaniel Clee states his comments on this article that “If this technology was ever hacked, then people would have immense details on many people’s profiles which not only has video of them everywhere but has details on where they live and their job and all the details there is about them.” Having that much information on some can be very scary and life threatening. If this technology got in to the wrong hands it could really have disastrous effects and out comes to follow. This technology should go through years of testing and almost be foolproof before ever being used in our society.

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