Facial recognition technology will be used by yet another public agency. According to the Mobile Time, the São Paulo Civil Police will adopt the solution in its investigations to identify suspects in crime scene photos and videos.
In order to identify the people that appear in their images, the Civil Police will cross-check the available material with the faces of the 35 million citizens who have a photo ID issued in the state of São Paulo.
The analysis will be carried out by the Ricardo Gumbleton Daunt Identification Institute (IIRGD) linked to the Civil Police, based on a solution created by Gemalto. The use of the tool is foreseen in a contract signed after the company won a bid from the São Paulo government.
Since 2013, Gemalto has offered a system of the São Paulo Civil Police for fingerprint verification. The company is also responsible for the biometrics system that the US government uses at ports, airports and embassies and that has 700 million people registered.
São Paulo invests in other surveillance tools
In addition to the Civil Police, the São Paulo Metro will also have facial recognition cameras. They will be installed on lines 1 – Blue, 2 – Green and 3 – Red, in addition to the train yards, and will cost around R $ 58 million.
According The State of S. Paulo, the government should install by the end of the year, at points indicated by the Military Police, 220 new radars that read license plates. They will join the existing 548.
The investments also involve 208 new silent drones that are not noticed by those on the ground. To Estadão, the PM’s executive secretary, retired colonel Álvaro Camilo, said that they could be used in special operations in “communities”.
The information collected by the equipment will be forwarded to the Civil and Military Police databases. And, according to Camilo, the government should adopt more surveillance systems in the future. “We are looking for companies that also monitor social networks,” he said, Estadão.
The PM’s executive secretary stated that personal data is used only in investigations and that all access is monitored. He ensured that the apparatus poses no risk to citizens’ privacy.
Groups advocate ban on facial recognition
The use of facial recognition technologies, however, generates much controversy. The city of São Franscisco, for example, has banned such equipment for public agencies, which were forced to receive approval to buy new surveillance equipment.
Still in the United States, a group advocates banning facial recognition solutions. Among the criticisms are the invasive nature of technology and the high error rate, especially for identifying blacks, women and children.