• News
  • Global

Amazon's Facial 'Rekognition' Tool Used By Cops Is Cheaper Than Netflix

Amazon's Facial 'Rekognition' Tool Used By Cops Is Cheaper Than Netflix

Image-recognition software that Amazon developed for its cloud platform is being sold to police departments around the U.S., according to documents disclosed by the American Civil Liberties Union today.

Emails obtained by the ACLU through freedom of information requests show that the company worked with the city of Orlando, Florida and the Washington County Sheriff's Office in OR to deploy Rekognition, an AI facial recognition platform that can parse databases of millions of people.

According to the ACLU, the Washington County Sheriff's Office in OR and the city of Orlando, Florida are current customers using Amazons' Rekognition software.

"Today, the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights organizations demanded that Amazon stop allowing governments to use Rekognition".

"Amazon Rekognition is primed for abuse in the hands of governments", the letter said.

But Amazon pushed back in an emailed statement about the program, saying that it had "many useful applications in the real world" and that the firm "requires that customers comply with the law and be responsible when they use" its products.

Beyond its claim that facial recognition threatens freedom, particularly among minority communities, the ACLU contends that facial recognition algorithms are prone to bias.

Skynews just used Amazon's facial recognition technology to identify guests at the royal wedding. Law enforcement in California and Arizona have already shown an interest in using the technology - and it is hard to imagine that Bezos would heed the ACLU's warnings. The documents provided showed how Amazon provided product support and offered free consulting services to the government.

Amazon is teaming up with law enforcement agencies to deploy its new facial recognition technology.

Orlando, Florida, agencies may also be joining the growing number of companies and agencies to use the software to "use existing city resources to provide real-time detection and notification of persons-of-interest, further increasing public safety", according to the Associated Press story. In fact, at last year's re:Invent conference, the company highlighted its partnership with the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon.

He said the program could identify potential suspects in real time, making it easier for law enforcement to act quickly in apprehending them.

"Amazon's Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns", the ACLU said.

Older versions of the Amazon Rekognition website advertised the service as a tool that law enforcement agencies could use to identify persons of interest by feeding police body cam footage into the Rekognition API.

The Washington Post reached out to the county's public information officer, Deputy Jeff Talbot, in the wake of the report.

"And so we're very concerned that Amazon appears to be rushing into this surveillance market with and with no meaningful restrictions to limit how governments can use this and local governments themselves and local law enforcement are not adopting their own restrictions".

That could have potentially dire consequences for minorities who are already arrested at disproportionate rates, immigrants who may be in the country illegally or political protesters, they said.

"People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government", said the letter to Bezos. You may remember a few months ago that China seemed pretty proud of its facial recognition software, which was effectively catching wanted criminals in Zhengzhou.

Leave Your Comment

Leave Your Comment

Latest News

Breaking News


Britain's M&S sees profit fall for second straight year

M&S is to close 100 stores, amounting to one in three of its core clothing and home branches, over the next four years. M&S admitted its clothing and home division was failing to attract younger customers and families.

Farm Bill Failure and Trade War Create Uncertainty for Farmers

If 25 Republicans and 193 Democrats sign the petition, the bipartisan coalition can force a House vote on amnesty legislation . Representative Drew Ferguson spoke with News 3 about the potential of the bill he believed was on it's way to passing.

Putin tells Assad 'all foreign troops' will leave Syria

But if it completely collapses and the US imposes heavy new sanctions on Iran, prospects for major fallout with Israel are higher. Since the Syrian conflict erupted, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, according to the United Nations .

Mowgli is a dark themed 'The Jungle Book', trailer released

Serkis revealed that Bale's performance as Bagheera added a phenomenal warmth and real love to the character's bond with Mowgli . The story will follow the upbringing of the human child Mowgli , who was raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India.

Shootout Between Texas School Gunman and Deputies Lasted 25 Minutes

The Republican has been governor of Texas since 2015. "They see the person as the problem and security as the second problem". Roady told the students that they were "suffering in ways that no one else can understand".

Trump Praises New CIA Director Gina Haspel At Her Swearing

Trump touted Haspel's 30-plus years at the agency, saying she has served with " extraordinary skill and devotion". Calling Haspel strong, Trump said the new director would "never back down" in defending America.

Stoke City 'to announce Gary Rowett as new manager on Tuesday'

Now such is the belief that Rowett is the man for Stoke , Bookmakers have closed the market on the next boss. BBC Derby Sport reports that the compensation fee Stoke would need to pay for Rowett would be about £2m.

Iran calls Pompeo's remarks 'absurd, interventionist'

Pompeo called Iran out for a wide range of "malign activities" apart from its nuclear program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo .

General Electric to merge its transportation business with Wabtec

That should include GE getting rid of at least $20 billion of assets through sales, spin-offs or other means. And it's just Wabtec , with none of the ham-handed nonsense that gave us Baker Hughes, a GE Co .

Man's condition in fatal cougar attack upgraded

It took several hours before authorities found the cougar up a tree 50 to 200 yards (45 to 182 meters) away and killed it. Authorities plan to match DNA taken from the animal with DNA from the victims to be certain they killed the right cougar.