Tuesday, 09 July 2019
The police will soon begin using facial recognition cameras at Brussels Airport, Commissioner General Marc De Mesmaeker said on Tuesday in an interview with Knack newspaper.
During the interview, De Mesmaeker stressed the usefulness of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, which read vehicle license plates. “They have already helped to solve investigations quickly, like the one linked to the death of Julie Van Espen,” he said. “Citizens understand this and have learned to live with their presence, but respect for privacy remains a right.”
The Commissioner General wants facial recognition cameras placed in certain places “as quickly as possible”. “I’ve just returned from Brazil and Colombia,” he said. “At Sao Paolo airport, Customs conducts surveillance with the help of these cameras,” he added.
“The results are impressive! The system detects people who have a record. In that way, there is no need to have a hundred officers to extract people at random from the queues,” De Mesmaeker explained. “We shall soon introduce that technology at Zaventem airport. We have an agreement with the operator and the unions.”
However, the cameras will not be installed everywhere. “This is still quite sensitive in our country,” the police chief said. “A good balance needs to be found.”
The Brussels Times