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Moscow’s CCTV network to deploy facial recognition to 70 times more cameras this year


The number of video cameras in Moscow’s public surveillance network equipped with facial biometrics will grow by 70 times from 1,500 currently to 105,000 by the end of the year, Government of Moscow Minister of Information Technologies Eduard Lysenko has revealed to Digital Barriers CEO and Forbes contributor Zak Doffman.

At present, only 1.5 percent of the 167,000 video cameras in the city’s public network are equipped with facial recognition, but the system is already used to investigate 70 percent of crimes in Moscow, issue 45,000 traffic fines each day, and reduce the response time of first responders by 20 percent, according to authorities.

The facial recognition system deployed for the 2018 World Cup of soccer in Russia led to the police detention of 12 criminals from federal wanted lists and eight pickpockets, as well as 60 people banned from football matches, Lysenko says.

The government plans to significantly expand its use of facial recognition beyond public CCTV cameras, as well.

“In future, 5G will allow us to expand the system with new devices like facial recognition glasses for police officers,” Lysenko says. “We are testing augmented reality glasses with embedded facial recognition capabilities together with Ntechlab company, which is known for creating the facial recognition tool FindFace.”

Ntechlab’s technology is also used in the CCTV network, and Moscow’s Department of Information Technology began testing its facial recognition with AR glasses earlier this year.

Lysenko also says the city would like to exchange information with foreign colleagues, including those in China, which he says has advanced further than other countries in facial recognition deployment. Chinese companies, including Huawei, may also be involved in Russia’s 5G rollout, as Huawei has already reached a 5G standards development and implementation agreement with Russian company MegFon.

Moscow’s IT department has its own AI division, Lysenko says, and it is working with companies to develop autonomous driving and remote healthcare technologies.

Russia’s central bank issued recommendations for financial institutions in the country registering citizens in its centralized biometric databases in March.

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