U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) already uses facial recognition software. It uses facial recognition mainly on the U.S.-Mexico border and at some, about a dozen airports. The product screens visitors efficiently. CBP is taking bids for a $960 million contract. The increase in equipment significantly expands CBP use of the technology.
The bid is out for the equipment
The decision was revealed in an agency document published last week. https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=a48f804821f81bb673d4baab4f8d0302&tab=core&_cview=0&utm_content=briefing-leads&utm_campaign=briefing_email&utm_source=sg&utm_medium=email
It comes amid a growing debate about the accuracy of the equipment. The question is whether the equipment is accurate enough for use in law enforcement settings.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) already works with CBP. It also works with numerous other federal government agencies. Amazon Web Services seems well-positioned to win the deal.
AWS’s two of its main rivals are Microsoft and Google. Both of them have put their facial recognition businesses on hold. They are withholding their products from the market. Ostensibly they are addressing technical and policy concerns.
Interestingly Google refuses to work with the America’s Defense Department but does work with China. Both companies are active in political matters. AWS executives say they support federal regulation of facial recognition. The unit has resisted calls to stop selling it.