Greek facial recognition law raises privacy concerns

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Pretty soon, the police officers in Greece will soon have access to body worn surveillance cameras that will be used for real-time facial recognition and fingerprint scanners. Thus, by doing so, the law enforcement is planning to keep a watch on the citizens when stopped by the police for verification- all as a part of ‘Smart Policing’.

Anyone who cannot prove their identity to the police officer on beat might be transferred to the nearest police station, where they have to complete their verification status through proper channel.

“Our goal is to monitor the populace, vehicles and objects in real time to reduce civilian discomfort and save material and human resources,” said a police officer to Privacy advocacy organization AlgorithmWatch.

However, not everyone seems to be happy with the new law that will see light from the end of February this year. As most of the populace feel that such surveillance activities can raise deep concerns in future as no one knows how the footage is stored and secured from snooping eyes on the web. All such streaming videos will be stored on government servers that when hacked can pave way for bigger hacks in the critical infrastructure.

Keeping aside the privacy concerns, a fund of 4.5 million euros has been set aside for this project that will be backed up by the Internal Security Fund (ISF) of European Commission.

Initially, the cops will get 1000 devices to be attached to their uniforms and in next 6 months they plan to increase the strength by 9,000.

Note- From the year 2016, China has deployed a similar surveillance program in certain parts of its country where the populace of that region are continuously monitored through CCTV cameras installed at traffic junctions, shopping malls, small time stores, and housing colonies. But the citizens living in the People Republic of China do not have the right to oppose such laws and so the surveillance is being carried out and is being extended to other parts of the world’s most populous country.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security