Orlando to stop testing Amazon’s facial recognition software: report

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The city of Orlando announced Thursday that it would stop testing Amazon’s facial recognition software, a report stated.

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The Orlando Sentinel reported that Orlando’s Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Edmonds, along with chief of police Orlando Rolón and Chief Information Officer Rosa Akhtarkhavari, wrote in a memo that the city was going to stop testing Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition software.

Officials said they couldn't “dedicate the resources to the pilot to enable us to make any noticeable progress toward completing the needed configuration and testing.”

The memo stated that the city was not exploring other recognition software but that it would not omit any future possibilities.


The Orlando Police Department has been testing Rekognition since 2017 but the project wasn’t announced until May 2018 after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) discovered the city was testing it due to documents they obtained, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

In May, San Francisco banned the use of facial recognition software by police and other city departments. The software has come under criticism from civil rights groups saying it could be used to invade people’s privacy and target minorities.


Amazon has defended its facial recognition technology, saying that it helps law enforcement catch criminals, find missing people and prevent crime. The software is currently being used in Washington County in Oregon, according to The Verge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.