A coalition of racial justice groups on Tuesday launched an online petition calling for Amazon to cut all ties with police and US immigration officials.
"Amazon needs to examine its structural role in the systemic oppression of black people," said Media Justice campaign strategies director Myaisha Hayes.
The groups want Amazon to sever ties with police departments and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
.@Mvmnt4BlkLives calls to #DefundPolice from coast to coast! :fist::skin-tone-5:— MediaJustice (@mediajustice) June 9, 2020
So @Amazon's empty words about solidarity w/ Black communities mean little when they have 1,330 police partnerships.
Demand @Amazon cut all ties w/ police & ICE NOW: https://t.co/B5brCscvbs pic.twitter.com/k078a6Kmax
Amazon's "surveillance empire" could be used by police to target people by race, making the company complicit in such abuse, Media Justice and other petition backers argued.
Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment.
"The inequitable and brutal treatment of black people in our country must stop," Amazon said in a recent tweet in support of protests calling for the justice system to treat people of all races equally.
"Together we stand in solidarity with the black community -- our employees, customers and partners -- in the fight against systemic racism and injustice."
It was not clear to what degree Rekognition is used by police or immigration agencies.
Ring cameras sold by Amazon are used for home security, but people can share access to surveillance video with police if they wish.
Amazon shareholders last year rejected proposals to prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to governments and study how it might threaten privacy or civil rights.
The failed proposals were put forth by a group of shareholders but opposed by the board of directors at Seattle-based Amazon.
The century-old technology firm called for responsible national standards regarding how facial recognition systems should be used by police agencies.
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