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Prime Minister Confirms Plan To Install Facial Recognition CCTV Across Malta

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CCTV cameras complete with facial recognition software could soon be installed in several zones across Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed today.

“The police are doing a good job but there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to step up enforcement,” Muscat said in an interview on ONE Radio today. “We are looking into safe city concepts to prevent antisocial behaviour, whereby CCTV systems with technology that can identify law-breakers can do away with the need to have police stationed 24/7 in certain areas.”

This sort of technology was proposed for Paceville last year by a government company called Safe City Malta – whose director is MFSA chief executive Joseph Cuscheri.

The plan is to install high-definition CCTV cameras all across Paceville and connect them to a mobile control centre. Facial recognition software will then be used to identify people as they walk in and out of Paceville, and police officers out on the beat will relay data of lawbreakers to the system which would then pick out people’s identities.

The Malta IT Law Association warned the plan amounts to a serious invasion of privacy, against Maltese and EU legislation.

However, Muscat insisted any implementation of this technology will be in full respect of data protection and privacy regulations.

An invasion of privacy or a necessity to reduce crime?

READ NEXT: Swieqi Residents Are Begging For CCTV Cameras To Prevent Daily Vandalism

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