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Greek police to introduce mobile biometrics during patrols

Greek police to introduce mobile biometrics during patrols

Greece is due to put in place a system known as ‘Smart Policing,’ which will see individuals undergo biometric scans to establish their identity during daily police patrols, according to an AlgorithmWatch report.

According to the investigative report by Reporters United, the system, which is expected to be in place by the summer, will enable police carry out real-time biometric facial and fingerprint recognition checks when they stop suspected criminals during patrols. This, the report adds, will reduce instances where arrestees get bundled up to nearby police stations to get identified.

Details about how the system will work are outlined in a 177-page technical specification document published back in 2018, the report notes.

Within the framework of the project that is partly funded to the tune of over US$4 million by the European Union and implemented by Greek firm Intracom Telecom, about 1,000 mobile devices will be made available to Greek police officers for use, with the possibility of adding 9,000 more subsequently.

The devices, which look like smartphones, will be linked to about 20 databases held both in Greece and internationally.

“Our goal is to verify individuals, vehicles and objects in real time. By doing that we improve police officers’ security, we reduce civilians’ discomfort and we save human and material resources,” AlgorithmWatch quoted a Greek police official as saying.

As the project looks to get underway, concerns have been raised that it could hurt civil liberties. Others have been raising questions over the legal basis of the move, as AlgorithmWatch points out.

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