Live facial recognition CCTV systems coming for Indian tech hub, Thai border
Cities in India and Thailand are beefing up their biometric surveillance capabilities with new real-time facial recognition systems, continuing global trends toward algorithm-assisted security.
A report in the Pune Mirror says that Pune, an IT and manufacturing hub in central India, has activated facial recognition in 2,880 of the cameras in its large CCTV network, strategically selected to cover key locations in the city. Employing one-to-many facial recognition, it compares facial features to images in a large criminal database for mass surveillance of crowded areas such as transit hubs, festivals and marketplaces. The system can recognize known offenders and send real-time alerts and precise location tracking data to law enforcement as needed. The Mirror makes specific mention of possible deployments in “public spaces such as railway stations, bus terminals, public squares, and major events like Ganesh Chaturthi, public protests, and busy intersections.”
Police say a pilot implementation during the Navratri festival at Chaturshringi Temple led to the apprehension of suspects in serious crimes, and that the expanded system will significantly enhance crime prevention capabilities.
Earlier this year, a survey of public opinions on digital surveillance showed that most Indians are not all that worried about public facial recognition, and that many support its use.
Thailand ramps up border watch along border with Malaysia
The Bangkok Post reports on a burst of activity along Thailand’s southern border, marking the first installations of a new network of facial recognition-equipped CCTV cameras to be placed along the banks of the Golok River.
The cameras will provide real-time updates to security and forward command centers, ostensibly to tighten border security along narrow stretches of river where smugglers can easily cross with weapons, drugs, or human cargo. Authorities say they will be monitored by security officers to prevent vandalism, with the help of local officials and villagers.
Area residents, however, are not sure they want the job. Local sentiment is not entirely sold on either the potential privacy tradeoffs or the practical viability of the facial recognition cameras, which some suggest could become a target for separatists.
In spite of occasional hostilities by ethnically-Malay Pattani separatists in three states of south Thailand, bilateral relations between the two countries remain solid, and the tighter border security is a joint project.