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Buncheon, South Korea Will Be Tracking Movements Of Covid-19 Patients With AI-Facial Recognition

As more and more variants of Covid-19 are surfacing, its high time governments from all countries beef up its Covid-19 mitigation efforts. Speaking of which, a city in South Korea called Bucheon is set to start a pilot project that involves more than 10,000 CCTV cameras to track the movements of all Covid-19 patients and close contacts within the city, with help from an AI-facial recognition system.

The South Korean government has injected US$1.3 million into the city's tracking efforts, and an additional US$422,000 coming from the Bucheon government. The project is said to begin in January 2022, tracking Covid-19 case's movements, who they come in contact with, and if they are wearing a mask.

"It sometimes takes hours to analyze a single CCTV footage. Using visual recognition technology will enable that analysis in an instant," said Bucheon mayor Jang Deog-cheon. The system will also help weed out lies that Covid-19 patients tell authorities, especially in regards to their whereabouts.

While the facial recognition system may help reduce the strain on tracing teams, and help in efficiency, South Korean human rights advocates and lawmakers suggests that this is an infringement on the privacy rights of the South Korean citizens.

"It is absolutely wrong to monitor and control the public via CCTV using taxpayers' money and without the consent from the public," opposition lawmaker Park Dae-chul said.

Would you give permission to the government to trace and track with AI facial recognition?


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