Macau adding facial recognition, license plate tracking to public security camera system

According to a report by the Macau News Agency, legislators are likely to agree to add facial recognition and license plate tracking capabilities to the Macau’s ‘Eye in the Sky’ public CCTV camera system in 2019.

According to comments made by Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak in a recent speech at the Policy Address Q&A session for Security at the Legislative Assembly, at least 100 cameras will be upgraded with the features next year. 820 ‘Eye in the Sky’ cameras have already been installed around Macau Peninsula, and there are plans to install at least 1,620 by 2020.

Judiciary Police director Sit Chong Meng said that cities like Shanghai and Guangdong are being studied for their ‘Smart Policing’ working practices but that the process is expected to take a few years to implement in Macau. Chak added that the use of ‘Smart Policing’ in society is justified, commenting, “the rise of crime, especially involving casinos, is now becoming more sophisticated, especially cross-border crimes.” He also mentioned that some 1,208 cases have been investigated with the use of the ‘Eye in the Sky’ cameras, with a high conviction rate.

Some legislators have expressed concern about privacy and monitoring residents.

Last year the Monetary Authority of Macau made facial recognition technology a mandatory requirement for all mainland withdrawals made by Visa and Mastercard cardholders at automated teller machines.

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