Facial recognition system at Karachi airport temporarily suspended

KARACHI: The modern facial recognition cameras installed to identify suspects and wanted individuals at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport have reportedly shut down, sources said on Wednesday.

Sources claimed that the advanced facial recognition system was installed a few months back at the international departure of the Karachi airport to bar the suspected and wanted individuals from fleeing the country became non-operational.

The advanced system was installed at Karachi International Airport for the arrest of the accused as the first phase of the initiative which was later planned to expand to other International Airports across the country.

Sources indicated that the ‘lack of interest’ of appointed authorities played a vital role in failing to operate the advanced system.

It is worth mentioning here that back in March 2023, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been given control of modern facial recognition cameras installed at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport.

The aviation authorities built a control room at Karachi airport for 24/7 monitoring of passengers and visitors via the high-tech camera system. The control room was handed over to the FIA immigration officers.

It is pertinent to mention here that with the support of Japan, high-resolution cameras were installed at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan airports to record images of every person entering the terminal building.

The advanced cameras will also enable the authorities to make 60 percent of blurred images recognizable.

The image of the suspect or wanted person will be flashed in the alarm monitoring room along with the relevant camera number, which will help the authorities to stop or arrest those persons in a short time.

The replacement of faulty cameras would cost $3,000 within the period of three years after its activation.

It was learned that the concerned institution will be declared responsible for any kind of fault developed in the system.

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