Darwin denies facial aims
Darwin council has promised not to use facial recognition technology on its new CCTV cameras.
The Switching On Darwin project has seen 138 new CCTV cameras, public Wi-Fi, new lighting, and sensors installed across the city centre.
The Commonwealth put up $5 million for the $10 million digital infrastructure project.
The federal Department of Infrastructure says Darwin requested the facial recognition software.
“[Facial] recognition capabilities were only included in this grant agreement because it was part of Darwin City Council's grant application,” a spokesperson has told reporters.
Josh Sattler, the council's general manager for innovation and growth, said the city had no plans to use the technology.
“Yes, they have [facial recognition] capability but it's not something we're using … we don't see a situation where we will require that,” he told the ABC.
“In saying that, from requests coming through from a state or federal agency, we'll need to comply with that request.”
The council has admitted not undertaking any public consultation on the use of the technology, and does not deny mentions of facial recognition in public council documents.
The council has hired consultants to carry out a privacy impact assessment on all the new technology. The investigation should be completed in the next six months.