Russian government decided to cover Moscow with 170,000 surveillance cameras, with access to 95% of the city’s apartment buildings. A facial recognition software is embedded in this surveillance network to identify criminals and boost security.
Moscow’s facial-recognition technology was designed by Russian startup N-Tech.Lab Ltd. The software works by matching faces to billions of photos on social media, police reports and passports. A two-month trial of the system earlier this year resulted in 6 criminals being detained from a federal “wanted” list. Even those who feel they’ve left no paper-trail, have still been found. The surveillance all started as an app called FindFace, which lets Russians identify strangers by uploading photos of them to be scanned alongside photos on the web.
NTechLab begun contracting with the US, UK, China and Singapore, and hopes to contract with Turkey, Indonesia and China soon. Privacy advocates have expressed concerns about abuses of the system, and about surveillance and possible data leaks.
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