US Facial Recognition Could Aid in Thai Bombing Investigation

US Facial Recognition Could Aid in Thai Bombing InvestigationIn the wake of a deadly bombing, Thailand authorities could use facial recognition technology to find suspects. While few details are currently available, there have been indications that the US may provide such technology.

Earlier this week, an explosion at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok killed 20 people and injured 120 more. Authorities have detected at least one suspicious person in security footage from the site, but currently don’t appear to have any strong leads. Meanwhile, the US Embassy has offered to assist in any way that can, and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has suggested that his government is arranging “to co-operate on borrowing equipment that includes facial recognition technology.” Meanwhile, the country’s police chief, Somyot Poompanmoung, extolled the power and efficiency of facial recognition systems, asserting that they can save valuable time in investigations.

Facial recognition systems have indeed proven useful in police investigations, with the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system having been a huge asset in the US since going live a couple of years ago. The FBI has started to work with other governments around the world in sharing this biometric data and technology, largely as part of an effort to combat terrorism, and while it isn’t yet clear whether the Bangkok bombing was terrorism-related, there does appear to be an opportunity for fruitful cooperation between the two states in using this technology as an investigative tool.

Source: CTV News

August 21, 2015  – by Alex Perala