Police and interior minister deny “asking” Prague to test facial recognition technology in surveillance cameras

10-12-2019

Both the Police and Interior Minister Jan Hamáček have denied that there were any attempts to make Prague City Hall begin with the testing of test facial recognition technology in surveillance cameras. Their statements were made after Czech Radio’s online news site iRozhlas acquired a letter sent in September by the Regional Police Directorate to City Hall, which talked about facial recognition testing in specific areas, including Prague Airport and strategic metro and railway stations.

According to the interior minister the whole issue has been inflated and the police issued no demands, but simply voiced their suggestions with intent to start a debate. However, iRozhlas has pointed to the fact that the Police Deputy for External Service Petr Matějíček writes twice asking “for a pilot project to verify the functionality of face recognition cameras in selected locations of the city”.

Prague City Hall councillors have indicated they will not allow the police to activate automatic facial recognition cameras in the city.