facial recognition

Thomas Kolnowski / Unsplash

Police in Hallandale Beach want to gain access to a unique “witness” in a criminal investigation.

The city of Orlando, Fla., says it has ended a pilot program in which its police force used Amazon's real-time facial recognition — a system called "Rekognition" that had triggered complaints from rights and privacy groups when its use was revealed earlier this year.

You've seen it in the movies for years: Security cameras find a face in a crowd, and — Enhance! — a computer comes up with a name. In real life, facial recognition was too error-prone to work that quickly, especially with live video streams.

But now the Hollywood fantasy is coming true.

The use of facial scanning is becoming commonplace — maybe you've heard of the new iPhone? It's also coming to an airport near you.

At Orlando International Airport, Britain-bound passengers — some wearing Mickey Mouse T-shirts and other Disney paraphernalia — lined up at Gate 80 recently for the evening British Airways flight to London's Gatwick Airport. It looks like any other airport departure area, except for the two small gates with what look like small boxes on posts next to them. Those boxes are actually cameras.