Washington (AFP)

Amazon is extending its ban on police using its facial recognition software Rekognition, a technology that is controversial because of the risk of discrimination.

The American online commerce and technology giant confirmed Tuesday its decision to extend the ban "until further notice", without giving further details.

Last June, the company announced a one-year moratorium, amid pressure from associations for the defense of freedoms, and demonstrations against police violence and racism in the United States.

In particular, NGOs demanded sweeping reforms of the police and surveillance systems, which they believe target black people disproportionately.

Activists also accuse the police of using Amazon's Ring camera network, used by individuals for security purposes.

Amazon had said it hoped its moratorium would give Congress "sufficient time to put in place appropriate rules" for the "ethical use" of these technologies.

This ban followed similar decisions by Microsoft, IBM and Google.

Last week, a coalition of NGOs called on Amazon to completely stop selling Rekognition.

"Facial recognition technologies are far too dangerous to be installed according to the whims of firms like Amazon," said Evan Greer of the Fight for the Future group, which is part of the coalition.

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