In DC, face scans peg a lawmaker - and a long-dead singer

WASHINGTON — Privacy advocates who strapped cameras to their heads and walked around Capitol Hill Thursday say Amazon’s facial recognition technology successfully recognized a congressman - but also claimed to spot singer Roy Orbison, who died in 1988.

The activists scanned thousands of faces Thursday inside and outside the U.S. Capitol to highlight the dangers of facial recognition surveillance and to urge lawmakers to restrict its use.

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They used commercially available software that Amazon has pitched to police, running it against a database of lawmakers, journalists, lobbyists - and, of course, sunglasses-favouring 1960s crooners. It recognized California Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier but misidentified other people.

Amazon didn’t immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

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