Amazon's facial 'Rekognition' under fire

ACLU asks Amazon to stop marketing powerful facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies.

Posted: May 23, 2018 4:28 PM

(KGW/NBC News) The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition program to law enforcement agencies.

The "Rekognition" system uses pictures or video to identify faces. It can produce results in just a few seconds.

"It is unlike anything we've been able to see before, and it is primed to be used for mass surveillance and abused really for authoritarian purposes," says David Rogers, executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. "It can be used as a tool to round up immigratns, to taret acivitists and actually surveil millions of ppl going about their daily business."

The program is already being used by local law enforcement agencies across the country, including Oregon's Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Public Information Officer Deputy Jeff Talbot says their are protections in place that prevent abuse of the system.

"We are not doing mass surveillance, we are not doig real time surveillance and based on our poliicies and Oregon state law, we have no intenitons of doing that in the future," Talbot says.

Talbot says he understands why the technology might make people uncomfortable, but adds it's helped deputies catch dozens of suspects.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2KKzcj5

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