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Home / Business / Amazon's face recognition test by Orlando Cops ends up as a devastating flop

Amazon's face recognition test by Orlando Cops ends up as a devastating flop



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Orlando has completed its pilot with Rekognition, the Amazon face recognition system, with no current plans for future testing. But the city did not suddenly change its minds because of ethical concerns about technology – they could not possibly make it work.

In October, the city embarked on a nine-month reconnoitring trial. According to Orlando Weekly, there are three cameras in the police headquarters, one in downtown Orlando and one outside a rest center. This was the city's second pilot phase with the technology, and when it ended on Tuesday, officials said that even the most basic functions were not in operation.

"We have not even set up a stream today," said Orlando Weekly Information Officer Rosa Akhtarkhavari, head of Orlando Information Officer. "We're talking about more than a year later, and we have not set up a reliable stream yet."

The city attempted to match faces in a database with faces recognized by the cameras in real-time using the Amazon detection tool Akhtarkhavari, Chief Administration Officer Kevin Edmonds and Chief of Police Orlando Rolon wrote to the city officials in a memorandum Thursday: "The aim was to find out if this technology would allow law enforcement agencies to reliably locate specific identifiable dangerous threats as they move around the city Approaching Possible Goals. "

In an email to Gizmodo, a city spokesman said that the pilot should end up after nine months, and given the problems reported by the program, it is not surprising that the city does not intend to pursue the technology

Akhtarkhavari told Orlando Weekly that it was a Because of bandwidth issues, it was not possible to reconnect to more than one camera and that there was no reliable signal. "We never got around to testing pictures," she said. The cameras also reportedly had insufficient resolution to obtain clear images, and one person who helped with the installation told Orlando Weekly that because of their distance from the ground, they only picked up the tips of people's heads. This source also reportedly said that if cops were able to get a stream up and running, the video feeds would be disconnected.

These are not the first reports on Amazon's powerful facial recognition tool that meets the expectations of Orlando police. A plethora of documents Buzzfeed received in October indicated that it was not just the cops who had little or no training on how to use the system, but also a variety of issues ranging from late delivery to general frustration about his shortcomings. [19659004] "The streams keep coming back … it seems like every day," says a March email from an Orlando official in the documents. "I recently started 4 or 5 streams and as you said, only 1 is active. I thought you were working on a script that would automatically restart you in case of problems?

It is difficult to say how many of these problems are due to the technology itself and how many are due to mis-provisioning and insufficient funding. While such technical problems could slow down the spread of facial recognition for the time being, they do not complain about the disturbing fact that the police are trying to oversee the public with technology that has not yet been proven to be fair and accurate.

Why have Oakland, San Francisco, and Somerville, Massachusetts, officially banned departments of the city, including the police, from using facial recognition at all. For this reason, a Digital Rights Group calls for a "complete" ban on government use of the technology. For this reason, civil rights activists, politicians and Amazon workers have all fiercely resisted such partnerships between the online shopping giants and the police.

"Our company should not be in the surveillance business," wrote Amazon employees An internal letter to CEO Jeff Bezos last June – the same month that the Orlando Police Department's first pilot phase began with recognition – called on the company to terminate its facial recognition contracts with law enforcement agencies. "[W] We should not be in the police business. We should not have the task of supporting those who monitor and suppress marginalized communities. "


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