Police go high-tech to nab suspects


  • ASEAN+
  • Thursday, 08 Feb 2018

Eyes on crime: A police officer wearing a pair of smartglasses with facial recognition at Zhengzhou East Railway Station in Zhengzhou, Henan province. — AFP

BEIJING: Chinese police are sporting high-tech sunglasses that can spot suspects in a crowded train station, the newest use of facial recognition technology that has drawn concerns among human rights groups.

In a scene reminiscent of the dystopian sci-fi television show Black Mirror, officers in the central city of Zhengzhou are wearing the digital shades amid the crush of travellers heading home during Chinese New Year.

So far, the technology has allowed police to nab seven suspects accused of crimes ranging from human trafficking to hit-and-runs, as well as another 26 people who were using fake IDs, according to the state-owned People’s Daily, quoting the city’s police department.

The system is part of China’s efforts to build a digital surveillance system able to use a variety of biometric data – from photos and iris scans to fingerprints – to keep close tabs on the movements of the entire population.

The special glasses are being used by four officers positioned at the entrances to Zhengzhou’s east station, according to the People’s Daily.

The glasses have a camera connected to a smartphone-like device that allows the officers to take mugshots of suspicious individuals and compare them to a database back at headquarters.

The app brings up the suspect’s vital information, including name, ethnicity, gender and address.

It also tells officers whether the possible perps are on the run from the law. — AFP


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