Facial biometric security systems deployed to Brazil stadiums hosting Copa America soccer games

All six stadiums hosting matches in the upcoming Copa America soccer tournament in Brazil will be equipped with biometric facial recognition technology to identify suspects wanted by police, Mexicanist reports.

The local organizing committee told an audience at a seminar set up by the Brazilian Football Confederation (BFC) in Rio de Janeiro that the deployment will be the main security legacy of hosting the tournament in Brazil.

Local organizing committee Security Manager Hilario Medeiros says it is the first event in Brazil to use facial recognition, and that the database will be loaded with data from around the world. “We will work in partnership with the public security bodies and Interpol to prevent an unwanted person, who has already caused or may cause disturbances, from entering the stadiums and disturbing the fans,” he said.

The database will be made up of images of suspects wanted by police and individuals who have previously received bans from soccer stadiums. Nearly 10,000 private security guards have been hired for the event.

Facial biometric systems deployed to city security cameras in Brazil for pilot projects have been quite effective, according to the Mexicanist, which reports that police in the city of Salvador identified a homicide suspect who had gone into public dressed as a woman during carnival celebrations. A similar pilot in Rio de Janeiro reportedly resulted in four arrests and one recovered stolen vehicle during carnival.

The 46th Copa America will be contested by 10 Latin American countries, along with invitees Japan and Qatar, at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Fonte Nova in Salvador, Arena Corinthians and Morumbi in Sao Paulo, and the Arena do Guild of Porto Alegre.

Hikvision supplies Corinthians with facial recognition cameras after signing a three-year partnership in 2018.

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