Guyana: Security cameras with facial recognition for Ports of Entry – NDMA

  • Executed by Chinese Government aid under the Safe City Solutions Programme

THE Ministry of Public Telecommunication’s National Data Management Authority (NDMA) is gearing up to launch a major security initiative, which will see the installation of high quality surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition, at the country’s ports of entry.

In a statement on Monday, the Public Telecommunications Ministry said the project is being executed in partnership with the Chinese Government under the Safe City Solutions Programme. Tech giant Huawei Technologies is spearheading the security project which falls under the US$37.6 million venture that has already seen over 100 Close Circuit Television (CCTV) high-technology security cameras being installed around the country, particularly the capital– Georgetown.       

According to the Head of the NDMA, Major (rtd) Floyd Levi, preparations are still being made to have the ports wired. He said focus will be placed on popular entry and exit points such as the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport and those developing ports, such as the Guyana/ Suriname crossing that, nonetheless, experience a decent flow of persons traversing the borders.

With Guyana on the verge of becoming a popular oil state with a likely influx of foreigners, Major Levi said it is necessary for the country to strengthen its security system particularly around its borders. He said that with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and Homeland Security’s watch list being a large one, it would be almost impossible for ordinary security personnel to keep up with the numerous wanted or potentially dangerous persons seeking to cross borders.

“That is why we would have to keep an eye on whose coming and who is going out. We don’t know some of these persons and we would want to have the best equipment that would help us recognize a potential threat before it gets within our society,” the NDMA head explained.

Major Levi reminded that only at the nation’s borders will the country be implementing facial recognition features in regard to the cameras. A small number of persons have expressed concerns that the feature would infringe on their personnel privacy. However, the NDMA head explained that the port cameras would allow for the facial features of a potential suspect to be fed into a system and ran against the individuals that may be present on a wanted list before alerting authorities to the potential threat.

“This is not something the ordinary citizen should be worried about,” Levi said while adding “this system is targeting those who would have broken the law and evading justice by crossing borders.”

The NDMA had recently announced that it had a total of 119 security cameras around the country with 17 strategic locations recently added. The cameras have been credited with solving a number of criminal activities around the country

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  • Ian Wishart  On December 18, 2019 at 5:42 am

    According to what I’ve read in the press, facial recognition cameras do not work very well with dark skinned people.

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