Chinese government uses facial recognition to alert authorities to individual’s movements

The Chinese government has begun using facial recognition to alert authorities when specified individuals in restive Xinjiang leave “safe areas” designated for them, Bloomberg reports. State-run defense contractor China Electronics Technology Group is leading the project, which is focussed on the southern part of the region, a source told Bloomberg, as part of the two-year old domestic surveillance campaign, Xue Liang. The alerts are triggered when individuals travel more than 300 meters beyond an area made up of their homes

UK planning to consolidate biometric databases, consider expanding Surveillance Camera Code application

The UK’s Home Office is planning to consolidate its IDENT 1 and IABS biometric databases into one central platform for fingerprint, DNA, and facial image data by spring of 2019, UKAuthority reports. The contracts for IDENT 1 and the Asylum Biometric System (IABS) expire in March and April of next year, and rather than renew them, they will be combined as part of the Home Office Biometric (HOB) Programme. A previously posted information notice suggests the new contract could run

Tokyo 2020 athletes, staff, media to be screened with NEC facial recognition

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will deploy NEC facial recognition technology at game venues to screen athletes, staff and journalists, the Japan Times reports. The technology is expected to increase security by preventing the use of ID cards which have been borrowed, stolen, or forged, and possibly also to reduce wait times. Unnamed sources told the Times that the entry process for spectators will be the same as previous Olympics. Between 300,000 and 400,000 people are expected to

Russian authorities seek access to biometric data as law enforcement surveillance increases

A draft bill to require Russia’s state telecom to provide the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB) with bank customers’ biometric data without their consent is being considered by the State Duma, The Moscow Times reports. The proposal coincides with the expansion of a municipal surveillance program powered by facial recognition in Moscow. Rostelecom is operating a project by Russia’s Communications Ministry and Central Bank to remotely verify bank account applications with personal biometrics, including facial images and voice

Australia to pilot city surveillance system that uses NEC’s biometrics tech

Australian cities will be the first to trial a ‘next-generation security’ systems that will combine live video with advanced real-time analytics, according to a Government News report. NEC Australia has partnered with Silicon Valley vision analytics firm CrowdOptic to develop the technology which NEC describes as a “ground-breaking intelligent live video streaming security system enabled by real-time analysis of footage captured from fixed cameras and mobile camera sensors in body cams, smartphones, and drones.” The technology uses internet-connected mobile cameras

Face-Six releases facial recognition software for drones

Face-Six has released FA6Drone, a face recognition software solution designed to recognize people from drones (UAV’s). The FFA6Drone software allows drones to identify people from any range, provided that faces are of decent quality and have a minimal size. “We are pleased to offer clients a very powerful tool for identifying people in the field and in the crowd. The new FA6Drone software can be helpful in the lookout for criminals and terrorists in the streets, in the search of

Human Rights Watch calls on China to shut down “Police Cloud”

The Chinese government is using a “Police Cloud” of big data platforms to aggregate and analyze citizen’s personal information on a grand scale, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on it to discontinue the practice, according to a Sunday announcement. HRW examined official announcements, tender documents, press reports and other sources to compile an overall picture of the ambitious surveillance program. The system attempts to track and predict the activities of those considered threatening to the regime, including activists,

Human Rights Watch raises privacy concerns over Chinese voice recognition program

China’s government is collecting “voice pattern” samples from its citizens to build a database for use with voice recognition technology, Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced in a fascinating article published Sunday. In collaboration with Chinese company iFlytek, which HRW says makes 80 percent of the country’s speech recognition technology, China’s Ministry of Public Security is working on a pilot project to identify the voices of targeted individuals in telephone conversations. “The Chinese government has been collecting the voice patterns of

Australian government seeks to expand facial recognition system

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will call on state and territory governments to disclose driver’s licence photos for use in a national facial recognition system, according to a report by IT News. The initial phase of the facial recognition system – the face verification service (FVS) – was implemented last year, soon after it received $18.5 million in funding. FVS is designed to decrease cross-border criminal activities by allowing law enforcement agencies share the facial images of citizens in order

Moscow upgrading CCTV cameras with facial recognition capabilities

Moscow is upgrading its public surveillance system by adding facial recognition technology to the 170,000 cameras installed across the city in an effort to identify criminals and increase security, according to a report by Bloomberg. Since 2012, CCTV recordings have been held for five days after they’re captured, with about 20 million hours of video stored at any one time. “We soon found it impossible to process such volumes of data by police officers alone,” said Artem Ermolaev, head of