Two days ago NPR revealed that the Orlando Police Department is using Amazon’s facial recognition to identify peoples’ faces.
Earlier this year, the ACLU sent an FOI request to the police department asking for more information about Amazon Rekognition.
The title the police gave to the ACLU’s FOI request is both telling and disturbing it is called, ‘Conserving The Peace Through Values Driven Service’.
Amazon Rekognition performs real-time recognition of persons of interest from camera live streams against your private database of face metadata… (Source)
A private database of face metadata is just a fancy way of saying private watch lists.
Amazon’s facial recognition program is being sold to police departments for as little as $6.00 a month. The above video confirms what I have been warning people about, ‘smart cities’ are really police cam-share programs in disguise.
Police and Amazon work together to track citizens
According to their website, Amazon will work with law enforcement to spy on and track citizens.
You can run real-time analysis on video from Amazon Kinesis Video Streams or analyze images as they are uploaded to Amazon S3. For large jobs, Amazon Rekognition can work together with AWS Batch process and analyze thousands of images or videos stored in Amazon S3. (Source)
Amazon boasts that police can track people even if they can’t see their faces.
When using Rekognition to analyze video, you can track people through a video even when their faces are not visible, or as they go in and out of the scene. You can also identify their movements in the frame to tell things like whether someone was entering or exiting a building. (Source)
Rekognition also claims to be able to detect a person’s sentiments, like whether they are happy, sad or surprised.
Think about that for a moment; police could use Rekognition to stop a person because they looked angry or because they are wearing an anti-government t-shirt.
This is the reality of real-time spying.
Amazon to use drones to increase police surveillance
According to the ACLU’s documents, police departments are signing non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with Amazon and agreeing not to disclose their relationship to the public (pages 15, 16).
The documents also reveal Amazon’s plans to increase police surveillance cameras and install predictive analysis software in cities across the country. (page 28)
The increase in the utilization of video footage from City and Partner’s systems are embedded in many if not all aspects of the City operation.
- IRIS IP surveillance network – used currently for monitoring and investigation
- City’s internally deployed IP camera systems at City owned buildings – used by the owning departments and at the enterprise level (such as investigation and risk management)
- City owned transportation camera network
- Venues Cameras
- Body Worn cameras
Pages 143 and 144 reveals that the Anaheim police department is also interested in using Rekognition to identify citizens.
Amazon joins a long list of companies that are helping law enforcement circumvent our Constitution.