Activists, immigrants and Amazon employees demonstrated against the e-commerce giant on its annual Prime Day, protesting against its labor practices and its involvement with US authorities’ deportation efforts.
The protests on Monday began in seven US cities, coinciding with the yearly sale that made the company more than $4bn in 2018.
Activists say Amazon should not be profiting off the yearly sale event while its workers struggle for better work conditions and its technology is being used to deport immigrants.
Protesters delivered to Jeff Bezos’s home in Manhattan on Monday 250,000 petitions calling on Amazon to cut ties with government agencies responsible for deportation. Protests will also take place in Seattle and San Francisco.
Amazon Web Services hosts Department of Homeland Security databases that allow the department and its agencies to track and apprehend immigrants. The company is also in talks to expand a partnership to host new DHS biometric databases that store more extensive data, including eye color, tattoos and other identifiers.
A spokesman from Amazon Web Services told the Guardian the company has offered legislative suggestions regarding responsible use of artificial intelligence and requested more clarity surrounding its potential misuse. In February 2019, Amazon proposed guidelines for facial recognition technology.
“As we’ve said many times and continue to believe strongly, companies and government organizations need to use existing and new technology responsibly and lawfully,” he said.