Orlando begins 2nd phase of Amazon facial recognition program

ORLANDO, Fla. — The city of Orlando, the Orlando Police Department and Amazon Web Services said Thursday that they have begun the second phase of a pilot program, evaluating Amazon's facial recognition technology.

The city said it partnered with Amazon to test the company's Rekognition technology from December to June.

The first phase lasted six months, but the second phase will last nine months -- through July, officials said.

Only images of Orlando police officers who have volunteered to participate in the program will be used during the second test period, which was the case with the first test period.

The city said it will continue to use eight video streams from city-owned cameras -- four at OPD's headquarters, three Innovative Response to Improve Safety cameras and one at another undisclosed city-owned facility.

The technology won't be used for investigations during the pilot program and all privacy laws will be followed, officials said.

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City staff members will explore procurement and develop a policy governing the technology should police decide to use the technology in an official capacity after the pilot program ends.