Facial Recognition Cameras at Karachi Airport Reportedly Inoperative
Facial Recognition Cameras at Karachi Airport Reportedly Inoperative

The advanced facial recognition cameras strategically placed at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport for identifying suspects and wanted individuals have reportedly stopped functioning. Initially installed a few months ago at the international departure section as the first phase of a nationwide initiative, the system aimed to prevent individuals of interest from leaving the country. Plans for its expansion to other international airports were also in the pipeline.

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Reports suggest that the non-operational status of the advanced system is attributed to a perceived “lack of interest” from the designated authorities, significantly contributing to its failure.

In March 2023, control of the modern facial recognition cameras at Karachi’s airport was handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), with a dedicated control room established for continuous monitoring. These high-resolution cameras, supported by Japan, were installed at various airports across the country.

Utilizing Japanese technology, the cameras were designed to capture clear images of every individual entering the terminal, with the capability to render 60% of blurred images recognizable. In case of a suspect or wanted person, the relevant image was promptly displayed in the alarm monitoring room, allowing authorities to take swift action.

The replacement of faulty cameras was estimated to cost $3,000 within a three-year period post-activation, with the responsible institution held accountable for system malfunctions. The sudden cessation of operations raises concerns about the effectiveness and maintenance of critical security measures at one of Pakistan’s major international airports.

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