In June 2020, Amazon halted sales of Rekognition to police departments. The decision came during wide-scale protests against police violence in the United States, which began with the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest.
Nearly 12 months later, no federal regulations have passed. There are a handful of US state laws restricting the use of facial-recognition systems and city-wide bans on it. These rules tend to target how the government and businesses might use such software, not individuals.
In a statement on Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union — which is one of many civil rights groups that has vociferously criticized Amazon’s Rekognition technology in the past and asked the company to stop selling it to government groups — said it was glad to see the ban extended indefinitely.
“Now, the Biden administration and legislatures across the country must further protect communities from the dangers of this technology by ending its use by law enforcement entirely, regardless which company is selling it,” Nathan Freed Wessler, deputy director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, said in a statement.
CNN’s Brian Fung contributed to this report.