What is happening: Amazon is now using facial recognition to verify sellers on its platform, sparking debate over the use of the technology.
Video: A seller in Vietnam reported that he had to record a five second video of his face to be verified as a seller, with no option to decline the verification method.
What did the Amazon request prompt say: ‘The video will be encrypted and stored for identification purpose. To proceed, enable access to your webcam.’
Rekognition: Amazon failed to confirm or deny whether the data would be incorporated with its existing facial recognition product Rekognition. Any incorporation would make the product more valuable.
What did AWS VP of Global Public Policy, Michael Punke say: “We support the calls for an appropriate national legislative framework that protects individual civil rights and ensures that governments are transparent in their use of facial recognition technology. We’ve already seen the technology used to prevent human trafficking, reunite missing children with their parents, improve the physical security of a facility by automating access, and moderate offensive and illegal imagery posted online for removal.”
What did Amazon say: “We always experiment with new ways to verify the information sellers provide us in order to protect our store from bad actors. Seller identification information is securely stored and used only for identify (sic) verification.”