A recent Reuters article reveals that ST Engineering has been awarded $5.5 million to install facial recognition street lights in Singapore.
ST’s smart street lights come equipped with sensors, LED screens and covert cameras already installed.
Incredibly, ST claims their spying street lights can bring “healthcare benefits to residents.”
Just like smart city projects everywhere, Singapore claims that spying street lights “are not built by the government but by all of us – citizens, companies, agencies.” And just like Riverhead, New York who claimed that police surveillance drones will revitalize downtown, Singapore claims their spying street lights will “lead to meaningful and fulfilled lives.”
ST Engineering has even gone so far as to rename it’s covert facial recognition program: ST Countenance.
“ST Countenance identifies people from a distance, without being intrusive. Covert and scalable, the system has the capability to be integrated with CCTV systems, reducing awareness that it is in operation.”
ST boasts that their street lights can secretly identify people in real-time 24/7.
“Their system is able to achieve identification of persons covertly 24/7 by utilizing the right design and engineering.”
But it doesn’t end there, ST has also won a contract to install their smart street lights in Hong Kong.
ST’s project to turn Hong Kong into a giant surveillance city is called the “Smart City Transformation Initiative.”
“The team from the Electronics sector will install customized multi-purpose street lights in Kowloon East, Hong Kong’s Smart City Pilot Area. The MPLP will be interconnected with a telecommunication network to form an Internet of Things (IoT) backbone.”
This is just another example of smart city’s being used on spy on everyone. Lets call ST’s “Smarty City Transformation Initiative” what it really is a “Government Surveillance Initiative.”
A recent ST Engineering press release reveals that smart street lights are collecting a disturbing amount of information.
ST’s President Ravinder Singh boasts, “This program goes beyond installing lamp posts for smart lighting services. It leverages technology to transform lamp posts into smart infrastructure that will enable smart services to be delivered to the residents in Hong Kong,”
ST’s spying street lights do much much more than identify everyone, they are also collecting information about the weather, air quality, temperature, vehicle flow related information. They also provide services such as Wi-Fi hotspots, electric vehicle charging facility, information dashboard for maps and directions, real-time traffic updates, and car parking space vacancy.
ST also sells facial recognition transit fare collections systems.
Earlier this year, ST launched a facial recognition hands-free rail collection system called Automatic Fare Collection(AFC). According to an article in the Singapore Business Review, commuters must submit a picture of their face in order to use the rail system.
ST claims their AFC system in Taipei, Taiwan “delivers a seamless travelling experience for commuters.”
The push to use facial recognition and smart city’s to monitor citizens lives is getting worse.