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South Korea to Test AI-Powered Facial Recognition to Track COVID-19 Cases

By Reuters

December 20, 2021

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South Korea in January plans launch a pilot project in the city of Bucheon that will use an artificially-intelligent algorithm, facial recognition technology, and nearly 11,000 CCTV cameras to track the movements of persons infected with COVID-19, anyone they had close contact with, and whether they were wearing a mask.

The system can track up to 10 people simultaneously in five to ten minutes, according to a plan submitted by the city.

There are concerns, however, that the government will retain and harness the resulting data far beyond the needs of the pandemic.

"The government's plan to become a Big Brother on the pretext of COVID is a neo-totalitarian idea," said opposition lawmaker Park Dae-chul.

From Reuters
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