Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Orlando Police End Test of Amazon’s Real-Time Facial ‘Rekognition’ System

The city of Orlando, Florida, says it has ended a pilot program in which its police force used Amazon’s real-time facial recognition — a system called “Rekognition” that had triggered complaints from rights and privacy groups when its use was revealed earlier this year. Orlando’s deal to open part of its camera systems to Amazon was reported by NPR’s Martin Kaste in May, after the ACLU noticed that an Amazon Rekognition executive mentioned the city as a customer.

On Monday, the ACLU of Florida wrote a letter to Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council, demanding that the city “immediately” shut down “any face surveillance deployment or use by city agencies and departments.”

On the same day, Orlando city and police officials issued a joint statement saying that the test of how its officers might use the Rekognition technology ended last week.

You can read more in an article by Bill Chappell in the NPR web site at: http://alturl.com/txywm.

Question: Why didn’t the Orlando Police publicize this test BEFORE it began? Did the Orlando Police feel they had something to hide from the public?

Categories: Offline Privacy & Security

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