Zimbabwe to use Hikvision facial recognition technology for border control

Zimbabwe’s government has confirmed that facial recognition AI technology donated by Chinese company Hikvision will be used for international border posts, state points of entry, and airports, Techzim reports.

HikVision Chairman Zongnian Chen signed a memorandum of understanding with Ambassador Christopher Hatikure Mutsvangwa, who is a Special Advisor to the President and Science and Technology Secretary for the ruling ZANU PF party, according to a statement released by The Office of the President. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Chinese ambassador Huang Ping were present for the signing of the agreement, under which Hikvision software will be integrated with locally developed technology to drive a national facial recognition and AI system in the country, and develop the local ICT sector.

The project is meant to increase security and improve efficiency at entry points, but also to assist in disaster response and traffic control, as the country moves toward smart city capabilities such as centralized power and water management.

Techzim notes the human rights controversies related to facial recognition technology, and says that comments on previous articles suggest public opposition to public facial recognition systems seems to be limited in Zimbabwe.

Hikvision signed a three-year deal earlier this year to provide facial recognition to the 49,000-seat stadium of Brazil’s Corinthians football club.

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