NTechLab to supply biometric facial recognition to over 43,000 Russian schools
Biometric facial recognition-equipped cameras will be installed in over 43,000 Russian schools, writes The Moscow Times based on reports by the Vedomosti business daily. Cameras have already been installed in over 1,608 schools in 12 areas.
Dubbed ‘Orwell,’ the surveillance camera system is built by state company Rusnano and integrates facial recognition technology developed by NTechLab, a subsidiary of Rostelecom, a company whose owner is close to President Vladimir Putin. The contract with the educational institutions equals 2 billion rubles ($25.4 million), according to the report.
The National Center for Informatization is responsible for project execution. The measure is taken to boost children’s safety by keeping a close eye on their activities and identifying unauthorized individuals on school grounds.
According to Yevgeny Lapshev, a spokesperson for Rusnano’s subsidiary Elvees Neotek, which provides the monitoring platform, databases will be stored locally and assures parents and children will have to give their consent to be included in the database.
NTechLab says the technology can be applied for a variety of use cases, including to take attendance, for online learning and keep track of teachers’ activity. Some 20 cameras would suffice per school to cover perimeter security, but no details have been provided on a clear timeline.
This initiative is part of President Putin’s plan to boost Russia’s digital economy to reach 5.1 percent of its GDP.
Starting in January, video surveillance analytics including biometric facial recognition provided by NtechLab has been implemented across Moscow to detect criminal suspects.