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Amazon to continue pause on police use of facial recognition

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Tuesday that it will continue to ban police use of its face-recognition technology beyond the one-year ban it announced last year.

Amazon and other technology companies have been under pressure from civil rights activists and their own workers to halt the sale of face-recognition technology to law enforcement agencies because they can incorrectly identify people with darker skin. At least seven states already have enacted restrictions limiting government use of the technology and several others are debating bills.

Last June, Amazon announced that it would pause use of its facial-recognition for a year. At the time there was renewed focus on racial injustice in the U.S. after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police offer pressed his knee against his neck. Microsoft and IBM also paused sales of their software to police around the same time last year.

Amazon.com Inc. didn’t say on Tuesday how long the ban would last or why it is continuing it beyond a year.

Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press