New reports explain that the online retail giant has now begun marketing a new facial recognition software to police departments all across the country that privacy experts are worried will eventually be used for more Big Brother spying.
Known as “Rekognition,” the tool is already being used by at least one police agency in Oregon to compare photographs of unidentified suspects against a database of mug shots from the local jail – a common and legitimate use for this type of technology. But it’s what else this technology could be used for that has many people worried.
Should police officers one day have the facial recognition software embedded into their body cameras, for instance, it could allow for innocent civilians to be tracked in real time. The tool could also end up making its way inside safety and traffic cameras for similar purposes.
Whoever the government wants to keep an eye on or monitor, in other words, will be easier than ever to track – which is completely antithetical to the civil rights outlined in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
“People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government,” wrote the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several other privacy activist groups in a joint letter to Amazon.
“Facial recognition in American communities threatens this freedom.”
Read PrivacyWatch.news for more news on how the government is teaming up with corporations like Amazon to advance the New World Order.
Amazon: don’t worry; we would never do anything illegal (cue creepy laugh)
Completely not shocking is Amazon’s denial that its Rekognition tool is being, or ever will be, used for anything illegal. The sheriff’s office in Washington County, west of Portland, the first law enforcement agency to adopt its use, claims the same thing
Both Amazon and Washington County insist that Rekognition is basically the best thing since sliced bread, as it’s merely used for “solving crimes” and “increasing public safety.” And because it costs about $400 to launch and $6 per month, it’s impressively affordable.
But its potential for abuse is enormous, skeptics warn. Even Amazon’s own Ranju Das, the head of Amazon’s Rekognition division, admitted that it’s purposes is “recognizing people” and “tracking people.”
Amazon also admits that it will receive feeds directly from the cameras and search them against photos of people being sought by law enforcement in order to notify the authorities. In other words, Amazon is becoming the fascist arm of the American police state, and is now openly admitting this.
This is apparently music to the ears of the Orlando Police Department in Florida, which has indicated that it plans to launch a “pilot program” using Rekognition technology – much to the chagrin of privacy watchdog groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Clare Garvie, an associate at the Center on Privacy and Technology at the Georgetown University Law Center, is also concerned about the technology and the negative impact she believes it will have on free speech rights.
Rogue police forces might use it to videotape public demonstrations, as one example, and use it to target political dissenters who are merely exercising their First Amendment rights. She compares this hypothetical situation to police walking through a demonstration and demanding that everyone there produce identification – which is illegal under the U.S. Constitution.
“This raises very real questions about the ability to remain anonymous in public spaces,” Garvie is quoted as saying in opposition to Rekognition’s use by law enforcement. See PoliceState.news for more coverage of techno-tyranny.
Sources for this article include: