It seems China isn't the only country using facial recognition technologies to track down criminal suspects.
According to documents obtained by the ACLU, Amazon is teaming up with police departments in a few key US states -- including Florida and Oregon -- to deploy their own brand of facial recognition tech for law enforcement purposes.
This under-wraps technology, dubbed "Rekognition," reportedly contains a library of "tens of millions of faces," which allow it to track "up to" 100 individuals in a given image and analyze their identity.
For privacy advocates, this is likely going to come as worrying news. Amazon's Web Services documentation says in "security and safety" applications, Rekognition will make it possible to identify "people of interest." Which individuals may fall under that category is not clarified in Amazon's documentation.
...the Washington County Sheriff's Office has already used Rekognition to reduce suspect identification time from several days down to mere minutes.
Interestingly, Rekognition's deployment is not merely a future possibility; it's already occurred on at least one occasion. According to Amazon, the Washington County Sheriff's Office has already used Rekognition to reduce suspect identification time from several days down to mere minutes.
"These improvements allow deputies in the field to receive the response to searches in near real time," Sherriff's Office Analyst Chris Adzima said in a statement. "This allows them to get the information they need and take action quickly. Seconds saved in the field can make the difference in saving a life."
According to The Washington Post, law enforcement officials currently utilizing this technology aren't breaking the bank to access it. The outlet claims the Washington County Sheriff's office, in particular, only pays between $6 and $12 a month to use Rekognition.