Surveillance Cameras

Local Cops Using Facial Recognition

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon is now using facial recognition to identify unknown suspects caught on surveillance cameras and as a way to drum up leads in criminal investigations. The dystopian approach uses Amazon’s Rekognition technology in conjunction with existing databases holding citizen information. In this age of mass surveillance, other law enforcement agencies are already following suit. However, these type of systems implemented at the local level are ripe for abuse and often lack necessary guidelines. A study by the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, for example, found that a facial recognition database managed by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and used by similar agencies across the state lacks oversight and transparency and raises privacy concerns. —TV

Photo: iStock.com / AndreyPopov

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