Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, arrives for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in Trump Tower, December 14, 2016 in nyc.
As Amazon expands into a range of new markets and stares down regulators and lawmakers throughout the world, the company is spelling out to consumers and investors that it is well aware of the many controversial problems that lie ahead.
In a 1,300-term blog article on Thursday, Amazon laid out its position 11 sensitive matters, where “there is much room for healthy debate and differing opinions.” The subjects include minimum wage, climate change, workplace diversity, immigration, regulation, bogus sales and data privacy.
The article lands at a time when U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle, such as President Trump on the right and Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on the left, are taking aim at Amazon for a certain combination of its size, market power, taxes paid and treatment of employees. Warren has lobbied for Amazon, along with other major tech firms, to be broken up, and in Europe the company is being researched to determine whether its use of retailer data breaches contest rules.
Amazon did not speech uttered in Thursday’s blog article, but it did state that its facial recognition technologies, Rekognition, that was used to help find missing children and identify child sex trafficking victims, could be misused and should be immediately put under a regulatory framework by authorities.
“We provide guidance to all Rekognition customers, including law enforcement customers, on the technology’s proper use and have a clear Acceptable Use Policy,” Amazon said. “However, we believe that governments should act to regulate the use of the technology to make sure it is used appropriately, and we have suggested guidelines for a suitable U.S. federal legislative framework that protects human civil rights and guarantees that governments are transparent in their application of their technology.”
Protestors march to a building where Amazon owner Jeff Bezos owns land on July 15, 2019 in nyc.
Kevin Hagen | Getty Images
For counterfeits, Amazon urged stronger national laws to punish bad actors, while emphasizing how it spent more than $400 million to decrease the amount of fake products on its website.
Amazon’s counterfeit problem has received a ton of press coverage of late, from this socket and others, as well as the firm cautioned investors of counterfeits for the first time in its latest annual report.
“Last year alone, our proactive efforts prevented more than 1 million suspected bad actors from opening Amazon seller accounts and blocked more than 3 billion suspected bad listings,” Amazon wrote in the blog article.
With over $230 billion in annual revenue and more than 647,000 workers, Amazon is experiencing the burden of responsibility that comes with that amount of market influence.
The organization touted it pays a $15 an hour minimum wage, more than twice the national minimum. And Amazon reiterated its commitment to be “net zero” carbon by 2040 and operate on 100% renewable energy by 2030, in response to critics who say that the firm lacks concrete renewable energy objectives. Amazon said it would keep on supplying cloud services to large oil companies, despite current resistance, to aid “make their legacy businesses less carbon intensive and help them accelerate development of renewable energy businesses.”
On the problem of workplace diversity, Amazon said it prioritizes equal pay and that it is pushing for the passage of the Equality Act. Since CNBC previously reported, Amazon’s most senior executives are mostly white men, and CEO Jeff Bezos has just one female on his S-Team, a group of the most trusted advisers.
You can read the complete article here.