You can’t but wonder — is the intention to identify those who show up to anti-government protests (to receive a visit from Thought Control), and those who participate in pro-government demonstrations (to receive a reward)? —Eds
This would push New Zealand into new territory for tracking citizens.
It will be run by a non-police contractor–US firm Dataworks Plus–and collect 15,000 facial images a year, with that expected to expand up to 10-fold.
Some of this information is contained in an Official Information Act (OIA) response police provided to Stuff last year, but tried to withhold from RNZ last week, until a complaint was made to the Ombudsman.
RNZ made inquiries with other agencies after revealing that the Internal Affairs Department has been–quietly, too–setting up a $20m passport processing system.
Both the department, and the police, are using some of the world’s most powerful facial recognition software, NeoFace, developed by NEC, a Japanese company with $44 billion in revenue a year.
Both said they did not tell the public as these are mere upgrades, and neither did a Privacy Impact Assessment – though Internal Affairs told the Privacy Commissioner about NeoFace, while the police did not.
Reports – parliamentary annual reviews – show since 2014 the police have spent more than $9m on an Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS), in two phases.