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Suspending Electronic Surveillance System for Facial Recognition

That electronic surveillance system, through face recognition, could jeopardize the rights of various communities, according to the Civil Rights Union.

The United States Civil Rights Union (ACLU) has sent a letter to the City Council of Orlando requesting the Police Department to immediately suspend the use of the surveillance system through face recognition from Amazon, or any other similar system.

For the ACLU, the suspension of that type of surveillance would mean ensuring the equal protection of the right to privacy, free expression and due process of all residents and visitors of that city.

After a six-month investigation concluded last May, the ACLU obtained documents that revealed that the giant Amazon was working with US and Orlando coast police agencies to acquire that high-tech surveillance product.

The system works with artificial intelligence and, according to Amazon, is able to investigate in a database with millions of faces and identify 100 people in a single image. Also make real-time tracking of images, transmitted through the internet, produced by cameras placed in public places.

According to the ACLU, these images and the reports produced from them revealed that the Orlando Police Department has been using this technology to analyze the material extracted from the city’s surveillance cameras, which has generated objections the risks to violate the right to privacy.

Nancy Abudu, legal director of the ACLU of Florida, indicated that the Council of Orlando “has allowed the use of that technology by the Police Department of that city without inviting a public debate or obtaining authorization through legislative norms or issuance of rules.” that avoid harming members of the Orlando community. ”

The lawyer also said that “people should be able to live their lives without being subject to surveillance by the Government. We urge the city of Orlando to put an end to the use of that tool that threatens public safety and could endanger the rights of [Hispanic and African-American] communities, protesters and immigrants. ”


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