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Future Of Controversial Surveillance Program Unclear

A controversial Amazon pilot program that utilized City of Orlando surveillance cameras for facial recognition has ended and it’s unclear if it will be extended.

The Orlando Police Department and the online tech retailer teamed up to test Amazon’s  “Rekognition” Service. OPD provided seven volunteer officers to see if the software could track them through the city. The department says it did not use the data in an investigative capacity, and says it was following applicable laws.

In an e-mail, a City of Orlando spokeswoman says staff continues to discuss and evaluate whether to continue the pilot and that decision is on-going.

The program faced pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union. Amazon shareholders penned a letter voicing concerns over partnerships that could violate civil rights.


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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »