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Facial recognition surveillance in São Paulo could worsen racism

Experts are concerned there will be a rise in racism as already more than 90 percent of the individuals arrested through decisions based on facial recognition in Brazil are Black [File: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP]

Rollout of up to 40,000 cameras equipped with AI technology in São Paulo is also raising concerns on security, privacy.

São Paulo, Brazil – As the city of São Paulo prepares to roll out thousands of surveillance cameras with facial recognition, experts are raising concerns on the indiscriminate use of this technology in the Brazilian megalopolis could exacerbate problems such as structural racism and inequality, while also posing risks to data privacy and cybersecurity.

The Smart Sampa project is the latest among a series of initiatives involving modern surveillance techniques in various Brazilian states. It is significant due to the sheer size of the population it will impact: São Paulo, the most populous city in the Southern Hemisphere, is home to 12 million people.

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