Singapore may be turning its island state into a surveillance state.
The nation plans to install cameras equipped with facial recognition technology to all 110,000 lamp posts around the city, making it easier than ever for the country to keep tabs on its citizens and visitors, Reuters reports. The so-called “Lamppost-as-a-Platform” pilot project will allow the government to “perform crowd analytics” and support anti-terror operations through “various kinds of sensors on the lampposts, including cameras that can support backend facial recognition capabilities,” according to a government spokesperson who spoke to Reuters.
GovTech, the Singapore government agency in charge of the program, is reportedly still looking for the right technology, but wants to begin piloting the program next year as part of a broader “Smart Nation” plan that uses cutting-edge tech to “improve people’s lives.”
While anyone who has watched Person of Interest knows that widespread camera surveillance is common in London and New York, Singapore’s system will reportedly be closer to China’s surveillance tech and use the most extensive facial recognition technology to date. That is enough to raise privacy concerns among rights groups.
Singapore has pledged to be sensitive to privacy, but the advances in technology that would allow it to identify a face in a crowd, is making many privacy-consious people nervous.