Orlando Police Department continues testing facial-recognition software

Florida’s Orlando Police Department (OPD) is continuing to test Amazon’s facial-recognition programme despite uproar from privacy and civil right groups saying that the technology could be used to unfairly target protesters, immigrants, and innocent people.

OPD revealed that the department will continue testing of the programme on Monday, despite a trail last month finding the software had expired.

Amazon built Rekognition, the facial and product recognition tool, two years ago using AWS as a way to find criminals easier via a database of images.

OPD is currently trialling Rekognition by creating a database which holds images of seven Orlando officers who offered to take part, comparing them to a video stream from eight city-owned surveillance cameras to ensure it correctly identifies them.

The tool has already been used by organisations and companies beyond law enforcement and to find lost children at amusement parks.

It was also used to help identify celebrities as they entered Windsor Castle during the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May.

Written by Leah Alger