Philippine Gov’t Pursues Biometric Drone Tech

Philippine Gov't Pursues Biometric Drone TechThe Philippine government is planning to use facial recognition-equipped drones in its fight against terrorism, suggest recent comments from the country’s Defense Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana.

Details about the plans are hazy, but in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel last week, Lorenzana discussed the military’s recent acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles from the US, and asserted, “We are looking at facial recognition software so that we can easily track down the bad guys.” Such technology would represent the state of the state of the art in military technology, though Lorenzana also suggested that any face-scanning drones would still be subject to review from “human intelligence”.

In any case, the pursuit of this technology appears to reflect the Philippine government’s growing interest in biometrics. The country’s election commission went through an extensive biometric collection program over the last few years in an effort to implement biometric voter authentication during elections; and more recently government authorities have been laying the groundwork for a national ID program along the lines of Aadhaar, India’s pioneering biometric database.

Those efforts would of course be quite separate from the military’s use of biometric tracking, which presumably would be focused on non-citizens. But that too reflects a broader global trend toward the biometric identification of terrorists and other international criminals, with a number of countries increasingly relying on such technologies for those ends.

Source: Philippine News Agency

June 11, 2018 – by Alex Perala