Pakistan deploys facial recognition to secure borders, biometric prisoner identification ordered

Country pushing towards new digital identity technologies
Pakistan deploys facial recognition to secure borders, biometric prisoner identification ordered

Pakistan Customs will put in place a National Targeting Centre (NTC) using biometrics to identify and profile risky goods and individuals, DAWN reports.

Established with support from regional centers, the NTC will process the data from various sources to establish effective control and subsequent investigation.

The new system will bring together a number of enforcement systems and databases, including Immigration, the national biometric registry, NADRA, and the government’s Facial Recognition System.

The documents viewed by DAWN show a two-sided strategy that will see the NTC process the information received to generate alerts for operational units and trend analysis for risk management.

Specifically, the NTC will develop and maintain profiles of suspects and transport units, as well as install real-time remote performance monitoring and facial recognition systems feeding the NTC from all entry and exit points, according to the report.

A smart examination system will also be developed within the government’s customs declarations system to simplify the examination process of import and export consignments.

High Court orders prisoners’ biometric identification system

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered the provincial prison authorities to subject prisoners to biometric identification processes in coordination with NADRA’s guidelines, Business Recorder reports.

During the hearing on Monday, the additional advocate-general of Sindh told the court that the biometric system was already being deployed in Karachi Central Prison, Malir Prison, and Hyderabad Prison.

Efforts to accurately identify suspects and prisoners have been ongoing since 2013, as people with names similar to accused individuals were allegedly incarcerated for negligence on the part of jails’ administrations.

At the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel stated that SHC ordered action in 2015 and highlighted that the biometric prisoner identification system was paramount to security measures.

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