Report: OPD Testing Amazon Facial Recognition Software

A recent report says Orlando police have begun testing upgraded facial recognition and tracking software.

The report comes from the American Civil Liberties Union, which says the software, called Amazon Rekognition Video, was provided by Amazon and is an analytical tool powered by deep learning technology.

The tool is meant to track people, detect and catalog activities, and recognize celebrities as well as lesser-known individuals and various objects.

The software is also designed to detect what may be deemed inappropriate behavior, though the details are sparse on what would be considered such behavior and what algorithms would establish the criteria.

The data about the program, and the partnership with the Orlando Police Department, were uncovered during an investigation into the system by the ACLU.

The ACLU released its findings, and Tuesday joined several other organizations which sent a letter to Amazon's chief executive.

The letter called on Jeff Bezos to stop selling facial-recognition software to government entities.

While such software would be in the hands of humans initially, the nature of deep learning technology could soon eliminate the need for human oversight.

The end goal of such software as Amazon Rekognition could well be to remove the human element from these searches and turn them over to exclusive computer control.

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