Govtech, the Singapore government agency will equip 110,000 lamp posts with various kinds of sensors including cameras that can support backend facial recognition capabilities. Camera surveillance isn’t new, but Singapore’s system will be closer to China’s surveillance tech. Speaking of which… China is taking the implementation of facial recognition to a new level by setting up 200 million cameras in its capital city. After piloting its social credit system in Hangzhou (9.5 million inhabitants) since late 2017, China hopes to incorporate it in Beijing, giving home to 22 million people, by 2021. The program will collect data from government agencies and transit authorities, using tracking technology linked to citizens who are increasingly part of a technological network comprised of cell phones and social apps. People who follow the government’s rules and exhibit pro-social behaviors, such as donating blood, will earn a good social credit and be rewarded with so-called “green channel” benefits, such as easier access to job applications and gyms. Those who violate laws can risk being blocked from services such as ordering plane and train tickets. Both programs are subject of major privacy concerns by local and foreign governments and citizens.
Read more about Singapore’s lamp posts here and about China’s social credit system here.