In an email released earlier today, the Orlando Police Department and the City of Orlando have announced their intent to continue to test facial recognition technology, following news that their original six-month contract with Amazon had ended in late June.

The City of Orlando will continue to test Amazon Rekognition facial recognition software in an extended pilot that uses video streams from City-owned cameras and the photos of seven participating police officers who have volunteered to participate.

“We have made good strides in testing this technology and believe it is important to continue this evaluation period to determine if it’s a concept that could add immeasurable value in enhancing the City’s public safety mission in a manner that balances reasonable privacy concerns,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina, in the OPD-issued release.

Before the second testing phase is launched, the City is working with Amazon Web Services to refine a Statement of Work that outlines parameters and controls, that include:

  • No images of the public to be used in the testing – only those of the participating Orlando Police officers.
  • Limited use of eight designated video streams from City-owned cameras. Locations not released (four at OPD headquarters, three IRIS cameras, and one at an unnamed City facility).
  • Tech cannot be used in an investigative capacity during the pilot.
  • All elements of pilot must be in accordance with current and applicable law, uphold all privacy laws, and ensure no violations on individual civil rights.

If, following the pilot, OPD and the City of Orlando decide to implement the Rekognition technology, they must explore procurement and develop a policy and governance surrounding the tech at that time.

The length of this second pilot is still to be determined.

See the memo below:



Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. So the City of Orlando is spying on its citizens through Amazon cameras, red light cameras and looking through our recycling bins. Enough is enough!