Is Boston's Police New Facial Recognition System A Threat To Public Privacy?-

Is Boston Police’s New Facial Recognition System A Threat To Public Privacy?

Recently, Boston Police tested one of the most advanced facial recognition system system to identify and track attendees at a Musical concert. Impressive, but this new innovation may raise many new questions related to the privacy at the public places. We explain to you this incredible event. 

Some of  the investigators working with Dig have discovered some new documents detailing how Boston Police tested an advanced facial recognition system. On May 25, the Boston police was not only able to indentify but also track more than 20,000 partcipants at a two day musical concert at Boston Calling Festival. This system uses the technology provided by IBM, which is a combination of the company’s Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) software, as well as, Smart Surveillance System (SSS). Both these systems had been previoulsy used at the event of 2013 Boston Marathon.


When Dig contacted the Boston Police Department, it categorically refused to having taken part in any such initiative, as well as, possessing any such technology. However, the documents uncovered by the Dig prove otherwise. Kate Norton, working as press secretary of the Boston Mayor, revealed that this was only a test and there were no plans for the permanent implementation of this technology. Althouhg, she failed to specify, if this technology will again be used in the coming Boston Calling Festival in Fall.

The technology uses the existing hardware infrastructure like cameras and computer hardware. The implementation can easily be achieved using software changes. Despite of the concerns for the privacy, this new system can help in public saftey, crowd management and improvement of traffic.