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May 22, 2018

Amazon is selling police departments a real-time facial recognition system

Documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California have shed new light on Rekognition, Amazon’s little-known facial recognition project. Rekognition is currently used by police in Orlando and Oregon’s Washington County, often using nondisclosure agreements to avoid public disclosure. The result is a powerful real-time facial recognition system that can tap into police body cameras and municipal surveillance systems.

According to further reporting by The Washington Post, the Washington County Sheriff pays between $6 and $12 a month for access to Rekognition, which allows the department to scan mug shot photos against real-time footage.

The most significant concerns are raised by the Orlando project, which is capable of running...

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