“Where are the Amazon cameras in Orlando? Please tell.” – Jack Whitemann
In case you missed it last week, the Orlando Police Department made headlines after saying they were not participating and then that they were participating in a new facial-recognition test with Amazon.
Following a video released by Amazon executives earlier in the week, declaring that Orlando was a partner in testing their new Rekognition program. The innovative service is meant to provide accurate facial analysis and recognition by scanning, verifying, cataloging, and counting people’s faces in the streets. What this hour-long video for more information:
Orlando Police Chief John Mina confirmed with multiple media channels on Thursday, May 24, that the City of Orlando is, in fact, a launch partner with Amazon and already had three cameras installed across city limits.
According to the OPD’s public information officer, there are eight City-owned cameras that “could be” utilized for the pilot. Up until that Thursday, Chief Mina was reportedly unaware that there were four Rekognition-able cameras installed at OPD Headquarters, three IRIS cameras in downtown Orlando, and one more an unnamed City facility.
Bungalower was informed that the police department would not disclose the exact location of any of their cameras. The City’s Public Information Department deferred to the OPD’s decision and would not tell us either.
Mina has publicly stated that they are not using the software to track the public, but that they are testing the software with seven participating OPD officers, who volunteered to participate. Mina also noted that contrary to concerns raised by the ACLU about infringing on the privacy of the individuals in the streets under surveillance, that “There [are] no privacy concerns because we’re just using the pictures of Orlando police officers who’ve volunteered for the program … these are all public spaces, so there are no privacy concerns.”
There are more than 100 cameras installed in Orlando.