Authorities in the South Korean city of Bucheon will begin monitoring people who test positive from January using nearly 11,000 security cameras, facial recognition and artificial intelligence. The system monitors the movements of people who test positive, monitors whether they are in contact with others and if they are wearing a mask, Reuters news agency reported.
According to authorities in Bucheon, near Seoul, the system should ease the investigation of sources and contacts in the city. This is often worked 24 hours a day. “It sometimes takes hours to analyze the images from the cameras,” reports the mayor of the city. “Facial recognition provides the analysis immediately.” The system uses cameras which are or will be installed throughout the city.
The project has been criticized by human rights lawyers and several parliamentarians. They fear that the data will also be used for other purposes. “The government’s plan to Big Brother “It is absolutely wrong to follow people through CCTV and use taxpayer money for it,” said a member of the Conservative People’s Party, the main opposition party.
The concerns are unfounded, according to the city of Bucheon, as people who have not tested positive are made unrecognizable. South Korea’s science and ICT minister said there are currently no plans to use the system elsewhere in South Korea. The country is already tracking those who test positive, including monitoring bank details and cell phone locations.
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