Police in New Zealand, Malaysia to upgrade facial recognition technology

New Zealand Police hope to upgrade to “advanced facial recognition technology” in the near future, according to a report published by Stuff.co.nz.

Officials believe that the deployment of new technology would assist in the identification of unknown offenders where facial images are available for comparison. Police claim that its current facial recognition technology is outdated, and cannot identify features such as clothing, scars, marks and tattoos.

The police’s objective is to have officers in the field obtain photo images directly on their phones from criminal information databases to help show witnesses images of offenders in the field.

The upgraded technology would primarily leverage CCTV footage. Currently the police have access to CCTV cameras run by local authorities and other groups that installed them to assist with crime prevention. Access to CCTV cameras not monitored by the police may be obtained through owner consent or through search warrant or production order, if required.

The police intend to roll out the new technology by 2019. No amendments to the Privacy Act will be required in order for the police to upgrade its systems.

Malaysia’s auxiliary police force will also start to use a body camera that includes powerful facial recognition technology, according to e270.com report.

The Malaysian police force will utilize automated systems developed by YITU Technology that can reportedly review on-body camera footage and identify a known suspect after an incident in a matter of mere seconds. The force has reportedly been testing the Chinese technology since February, which is also used at tourist locations and ports in China.

The technology recently made international news for identifying a suspect in a crowd of over 60,000 people.

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