A few weeks ago I came across a spooky information that the Mauritian Government has ordered 304 CCTV cameras with face recognition and Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) capabilities. These cameras are intended to be used in regions of Quatre Bornes, Beau-Bassin and Rose-Hill. While having cameras for security purposes is all OK, cameras with face recognition is SPOOKY! Why? Such infrastructure requires connection with a database otherwise the recognition ability is futile. Now, the question is where exists the biggest database of citizens that can correctly identify walking citizens in Quatre Bornes comparing with an existing biometric photo somewhere? Oh! Oh! Did it ring the bell?

Traditional cameras record events & when an incident happens you may go through the archive and watch everything as it happened. You get the photos of culprits.

With a CCTV camera with face recognition, you identify people in real-time. Someone walking on the streets of Quatre Bornes can be instantly identified and followed through the rest of cameras.

Face_Recognition

Image source: http://www.nec.com/en/global/solutions/safety/Face_Recognition/images/Face_Recognition_FR_Pic.png
Earlier on facebook somebody tossed maybe the database will consist only of criminals' biometric details. Wait! Biometric data of convicts are collected while they serve their term in prison. Legally these data should be destroyed once they finish their term. So, the biometric data that the Police database contains are only of those who are serving their jail time and not walking freely outside.

Destruction of biometric data once they have served the purpose is a legal requirement as stipulated in the Data Protection Act of 2004. The Data Protection Act can be obtained from DPO website.

DPA 2004 Part IV Section 26(d) says: The data controller shall ensure that personal data is not kept for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which such data has been collected and processed.

Aww! Coming back to the actual story of CCTV cameras, well, you may have a look at the tender file which is available on COMESA website. As for the curious who would like to have a glance at the bidders list, well that is publicly available on the Central Procurement Board’s website.