Russian Ministry testing gait recognition as part of national biometric surveillance system

Russian Ministry testing gait recognition as part of national biometric surveillance system

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs wants to install a biometric surveillance system by the end of 2021 that will identify criminals and suspects from urban surveillance networks with facial, voice, iris and even gait and tattoo recognition technology, writes RBC.ru.

The publication spoke with Danila Nikolaev, general director of the Russian Biometric Society, who assisted with the development of the Federal Information System for Biometric Accounting (FISBU). The project was confirmed by Vladimir Ovchinsky, adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and it is still in development stage. The system will be developed under Moscow’s “Safe City” framework and will receive funding from this program’s budget. Testing will be completed in the country’s regulatory sandbox for AI technologies.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is interested in exploring gait recognition to identify criminals, and gait is among various forms of recognition tested, according to the report, but Nikolaev says this modality has not been included in the FISBU capabilities list yet.

3Divi Co-founder Dmitry Morozov tells RBC that body recognition is a promising means of identifying a suspect, particularly when the person’s face is not visible to a video camera, though Vokord Technical Director Alexei Kadeishvili notes that it does not provide a high degree of certainty in a match, the way DNA does.

Gennady Puchkov, a researcher at the Special Technology and Communications Research and Production Association of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed in October 2019 that the biometric system was in development and AI software for data analysis was already in the implementation stage. He also suggested that in the future the body may consider building software to detect people’s emotional and mental state.

According to Nikolaev, terms of reference have not yet been approved, but the biometric system may also be used to communicate with other departments’ systems. Fingerprints, hair and saliva from crime scenes will be run through the system and a list of suspects will be provided. An additional assessment will be conducted by a forensic expert, and provided the system has all the information it needs, a photo is uploaded and matched with facial recognition.

Inside sources say the project initially required a hefty investment as the intellectual rights to the system and algorithms would be handed over to the state.

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