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RFA: Macao Installs Skynet System; Over 1,600 Facial Recognition Cameras to Be Installed by 2020

Macao has been installing the “Skynet” system in its public areas. The version being installed has a facial recognition function. About half of the total 1,620 cameras have been installed and the installation of the remaining cameras will be completed next year. Even though Macau’s Security chief claims that the Skynet system has a strict supervision mechanism, if there is an illegal act in the course of the operation, the law will punish the perpetrator. People are still concerned, however, that the government surveillance systems tend to be tools used to suppress dissidents’ voices and to violate the people’s freedom and their privacy. An article that Radio Free Asia published questioned whether the Macao of today’s world will become the Hong Kong of tomorrow.

According to the information from the Macau Police Headquarters, the local “Skynet” project is divided into four phases. The first to third phases were put into use in 2018. They involved 820 cameras. The locations include the areas around the entry and exit to customs, major roads, transportation hubs, tourist attractions, important facilities, and black spots in a number of districts. The final phase will be completed in the first quarter of 2020. It will be set up in a remote location that has security issues. The four phases will include a total of 1,620 cameras.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 20, 2019