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Brazil’s Bahia State contracts $131M facial recognition system to tackle criminality

Idemia coalition supplying ABIS to federal police
Brazil’s Bahia State contracts $131M facial recognition system to tackle criminality

Bahia State Governor Rui Costa has okayed the disbursement of funds for the deployment of a facial recognition surveillance system in many cities across the State with the aim of helping security agencies fight crime.

Tele.Sintese reports that the Governor authorized the sum of Real 665 million (US$131 million) for the biometric system which will be provided by Oi Soluções and to be deployed in the State capital Salvador and in 77 other cities.

A trial of the facial recognition solution in the State capital enabled the arrest of some 200 suspected criminals, the report adds.

The deployment will begin with the 39 largest cities of the State this year, while 39 others will be targeted next year.

A contract to roll out the project has been signed between the State Department of Public Safety and the solution provider, per Tele.Sintese. The system to be deployed, the report notes, consists of a private mobile communication system through which real-time images of centers integrated with police vehicles on the field can be communicated and transmitted.

The system also has an intelligent video monitoring platform which will see the installation of 4,000 cameras including in vehicles. The police will have a mobile network with specific frequency which will be connected to towers, antennas and more than 3,900 terminals.

The terminals will be interconnected to send alerts issued by the reconnaissance system to police officers on the field.

ABIS under review

The move by Bahia to deploy a statewide facial recognition surveillance system comes on the heels of a contract signed by Idemia and local partner Iafis Brasil with Brazil’s federal police on the implementation of an automated biometric identification system (ABIS) which will be able to collect, store and cross-match fingerprint and face biometric data.

The system is expected to be able to store biometric records for 50 million people within 48 months, starting with the transfer of 22.2 million from the legacy AFIS system, according to a separate article from Tele.Sintese. It could eventually expand to cover 200 million entries.

State law enforcement agencies would have access to the ABIS, in addition to federal police.

The country’s National Data Protection Authority (ANPD) has been asked to review the ABIS system’s legality by a coalition of advocacy groups.

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