Amazon rejects facial recognition, climate change proposals
NEW YORK (AP) — Despite pressure from civil rights groups, activist investors and its own employees, Amazon said Wednesday that shareholders at an annual meeting in Seattle voted against proposals related to two major social issues: climate change and facial recognition technology.
The two proposals on facial recognition had asked Amazon to stop selling its technology to government agencies, saying that it could be used to invade people’s privacy and target minorities.
Earlier this month, San Francisco banned the use of facial recognition software by police and other city departments. Amazon has defended its facial recognition technology, saying that it helps law enforcement catch criminals, find missing people and prevent crime.
The climate change proposal, backed by more than 7,600 Amazon employees, pushed the company to release a detailed plan on how it will curb its use of fossil fuels that power its data centers and planes that ship its packages.
After the shareholding meeting in Seattle Wednesday, the employees said that they plan to continue to put pressure on Amazon to do more to reduce its impact on climate change. Amazon said it already has plans to release its carbon footprint later this year and has been working to cut shipping emissions.
Amazon did not release shareholder vote totals on Wednesday, but said it will release them later this week in a government filing.