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Amazon and law enforcement are using cloud-based AI for surveillance

This Business Insider article reports Amazon is supplying technology and working with city and county law enforcement agencies in the US to allow them to leverage AI and cloud computing systems to engage in real-time facial recognition, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The system, known as Rekognition, is an AWS application that customers can use to tie internet-connected video surveillance systems to the cloud platform and identify and track people in an image or video feed. Rekognition is used by the city of Orlando, Florida, as well as Washington County, Oregon, according to the ACLU. The image recognition application is possible thanks to the growing number of internet-connected municipal surveillance cameras around the world. Governments are installing cameras to monitor city streets in an effort to improve public safety — New Orleans' camera program is one such example — and Business Insider Intelligence estimates that over 2 billion of these devices will be installed worldwide by 2023, with total global investment expected to top $40 billion. Additionally, police departments around the US are issuing personnel body cameras to provide greater public transparency.

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