Moscow mayor: New city-wide facial recognition system “would be only rivaled by China”

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The Mayor of Moscow said on Thursday that Russian capital’s authorities plan to create a large-scale facial recognition system comprising more than 200,000 CCTV cameras in the city.

The facial recognition system was first introduced when Moscow hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the mayor recalled, speaking at a meeting with Russian President Putin.

“Now we have tested the video facial recognition in the metro, through cameras at entrance halls and detected dozens of criminals who had been on a wanted list. This year, very soon, we will announce a competition to create a large-scale video recognition system jointly with the Interior Ministry, comprising more than 200,000 CCTV cameras in Moscow. It will become one of the world’s largest, to be only rivaled by Chinese systems,” the mayor said.

The mayor also said a speech recognition technology has been introduced in the capital. “Today between 40% and 70% of calls are serviced at our call centers through chatbots,” Sobyanin said. Now speech recognition technologies have been tested in transport, schools and medical institutions, “facilitating the work of a huge number of people,” he added.

Today some 167,000 CCTV cameras are working in Moscow, with 16,000 users having access to them. These are staff members of law enforcement agencies, state and municipal organizations. All of them have their access level, and each log-in in the system is recorded.

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