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Shanghai deploys smart city system with biometric facial recognition from Alibaba


Shanghai has deployed Alibaba Group Holding’s City Brain public surveillance system with 1,100 biometric facial recognition cameras and drones to the Harbour City district, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

Harbour City is 152 square kilometer district of less than 100,000 people located on the outskirts of Shanghai. Drones cover roughly half of the city, in addition to the fixed cameras, and satellite images, with the system capturing more than 20 million images each day. Bus, subway, and UnionPay credit card use are also tracked.

Central Hangzhou has also deployed City Brain over a 3,000 square kilometer area with a lower concentration of about 1,700 cameras. Deep learning algorithms identify illegal parking, traffic infractions and individuals, according to the Review.

In Harbour City, the system identifies events, such as the formation of large crowds or people dumping garbage. City Brain can also adjust traffic light timing or alert police of an emergency. A Harbour City representative told the Review that 90 percent of events are detected and reported automatically.

Kuala Lumpur has also deployed City Brain, according to the Review.

Smart City technology from Chinese providers is being deployed around the world, with attendant controversy.

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