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Brazil Takes a Page From China, Taps Facial Recognition to Solve Crime

Picture of Rocinha

Rocinha, a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, seen here on May 17, 2019, is suffering renewed violence and could become the latest testing ground for Brazil's experiment in fighting staggering crime with high-tech surveillance.

Credit: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Brazil is following China's example and adopting facial-recognition technology to crack down on crime. As a result, the country represents a potentially lucrative market for surveillance systems manufactured in China.

In 2018, the Brazilian city of Campinas began using Huawei's facial-recognition cameras with the goal of "replicating" the company's "advanced public safety" model for smart cities, using artificial intelligence (AI) to sift through a dataset of biometric information, personal data, and social media images. When the AI identifies someone as a wanted suspect, the system notifies authorities via mobile phone so they can quickly arrest the individual.

Human Rights Watch researcher Maya Wang said no “compelling evidence” exists that such systems improve safety, adding that in an environment where lawmakers are still catching up on the capabilities of the technology, "it's easy for surveillance companies to move in."

From The Christian Science Monitor
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