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Moscow data center to collect face biometrics from video streams nationwide

Moscow data center to collect face biometrics from video streams nationwide

The Department of Information Technologies of Moscow is in the process of finalizing a new data storage center with biometric surveillance capabilities.

According to the Russian daily Kommersant, the new facility will centralize the collection of video traffic across all regions of the country, thus relieving local data centers of at least part of their processing tasks.

In other words, other regions will be able to transfer video from their street cameras to the capital’s data center for subsequent video processing, including biometric searches against a watchlist.

The unified Moscow data center is reportedly being built in the face of “an increased terrorist threat,” as per the tender seen by Kommersant.

“The main task of the recognition system is to search for criminals whose faces are in the Ministry of Internal Affairs database,” an unnamed source familiar with the matter tells the Russian publication.

Further, according to the City HSS (Hardware and Software System) Chief Developer Oksana Yakimyuk, it may also be possible to implement the reverse exchange of data from Moscow to the regions, though some clarifications are needed.

“It is unclear under what conditions the information will be stored on Moscow servers or how long regions will have to store it. It is also unclear who will pay for data transfer,” Yakimyuk tells Kommersant.

For context, the Safe City HSS project, first started in 2007, aims to establish a framework relying on predictive analytical models and reaction scenarios for crises and accidents on various threats. It was built with the support of State Corporation Rostec.

Existing systems have been able to track journalists at a city level.

The new data center contract is worth 43.3 million rubles (roughly US$695,000) and is expected to be completed by 16 December.

The announcement comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to establish a joint venture named the JSC Center for Biometric Technologies (CBT).

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