Security secretary open to using facial recognition tech

Macau’s Secretary for Security says he is “open” towards the use of facial recognition technology in casinos and public areas, Macau Business reports.

“Casinos are private places and only recently has the installation of such equipment been authorized,” said Secretary Wong Sio Chak during a plenary session on the Legislative Assembly (AL) on Monday.

When Legislator Ng Kuok Cheong asked Mr. Wong about whether there were enough resources to combat gaming-related crimes, the secretary said there are currently four teams detached to assist the patrolling of gaming venues, alleviating risks to frontline workers.

During his remarks, the secretary also noted that the use of cameras and facial recognition mechanisms, regardless of where they are used  – should be considered under the laws of private data protection and of the Macau SAR.

Speaking about gaming crime in Macau, the Secretary said that an increase in gaming-related crimes is directly related to an increase in success of the sector. 

The Secretary noted that crimes including theft, side betting, loan sharking and forced imprisonment was linked to gaming.

However, Wong claimed that crimes had decreased due to efforts of the local police. 

 

With regards to illegal side betting, Wong admitted that it was difficult to keep track and to prosecute offenders. 

“There are no witnesses, it is difficult to collect proof. We usually resort to undercover agents to target drugs and organized crime linked to triads,” said the secretary.