Amazon Sells Its Facial Rekognition System to Law Enforcement Agencies

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently revealed that Amazon has started selling facial recognition software to at least two US law enforcement agencies. A recently published ACLU report has shown that the company has been advertising its facial recognition system which is called Amazon Rekognition, to a number of states.

A 147-Page Report Reveals Amazon’s Intention to Push Amazon Rekognition

There are testimonials from the Orlando, Florida Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon which indicate that the Amazon Rekognition system is already in use.

There is a 147-page report that reveals Amazon’s efforts to push Amazon Rekognition as a government surveillance system. The report seems to be partially redacted but it still servers as a proof. Furthermore, there are emails showing how the online retail company is offering free support and troubleshooting to help the system become more popular.

Here are the contents of one revealing email from Amazon sent to a low enforcement agency:

I am the Account Manager for AWS covering Oregon, and I noticed that you were leveraging our new Rekognition service. Because the service is so new, we are reaching out to customers to make sure they get all the support they need to succeed with their particular use case.

According to ACLU’s statements, “Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns,” raising concern about the possible future deployment of the surveillance technology by both law enforcement agencies and government:

With this technology, police would be able to determine who attends protests. ICE could seek to continuously monitor immigrants as they embark on new lives. Cities might routinely track their own residents, whether they have reason to suspect criminal (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: