Chinese researchers have developed a police car that can automatically scan pedestrians’ faces in search of a match against criminal databases.
Developed by a team at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, the SUV is already being tested on the road, and authorities are aiming to dispatch it in a real-world trial during the G-20 summit in Hangzhou this September. It features a 360-degree camera mounted on its roof that can reportedly scan faces up to 60 meters away, even while travelling as fast as 75mph. Moreover, the system can determine age, race, and gender, and can also recognize licence plate numbers.
As remarkable as it is, it isn’t the first face-scanning police car ever developed. Last autumn, the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior revealed that it was also working on just such a project, unveiling it at a major tech event in Dubai. While government authorities around the world are increasingly using biometric technology for security purposes, it’s worth noting that the UAE and China governments restrict civil liberties to a greater extent than authorities in countries like the US, so there’s little chance of face-scanning police cars inciting open uproars over privacy violations.
That having been said, it will be interesting to see whether there is any attempt to emulate this technology in liberal democracies as it starts hitting the roads of the UAE and China.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
March 29, 2016 – by Alex Perala