[nexa] Moscow's 105, 000 Facial Recognition Cameras Here to Stay as Country's Court System Entrenches Video Surveillance - CPO Magazine
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Fri Mar 20 13:24:15 CET 2020
Over the past few months, the city of Moscow has quietly rolled out one
of the largest facial recognition systems in the world. The city has
moved rapidly from announcing plans for the system in the summer of 2019
to installing over 100,000 cameras to an operating system by early 2020,
with plans to have over 200,000 facial recognition cameras active when
all is said and done. The city is no stranger to video surveillance,
with about 160,000 CCTV cameras dating back as far as the Cold War, but
the new cameras come with built-in facial recognition capability.
The Russian courts were hit with lawsuits from privacy organizations
shortly after the announcement of this system, but the cameras were
allowed to be installed and put into use while the cases were
considered. A recent ruling that facial recognition does not violate
citizen privacy would appear to be the definitive statement that Moscow
will now be the largest city outside of China to track people with
facial recognition in nearly every inch of public space.
The strong push for Russian video surveillance
There has been talk about implementation of a large-scale facial
recognition scheme in Russia for years, but concrete steps toward it
began last year. It was held up for some time by a lawsuit filed by a
woman who claimed that she was identified and arrested via facial
recognition while engaging in a peaceful protest outside of the Kremlin.
The lawsuit claimed that Russia’s constitution guarantees personal
privacy and the existing data protection laws specified that biometric
data can only be processed with written consent. The courts decided
against her in November, and installation of the new facial recognition
system immediately began.
The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, has expressed a desire to have a
video surveillance system on the scale and with the capabilities of the
one in place in Beijing. Russia has been investing in Chinese facial
recognition technology developer Megvii since 2017, and is making use of
the company’s products.
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