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This South African security company is using a tool called ‘Scarface’ to track people – how it works


The Bidvest Protea Coin group has provided further details about the advanced facial recognition technology it’s using to track and catch criminals in South Africa  –  a system known as ‘Scarface’.

Scarface is a platform that uses advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to help security teams identify what it refers to as ‘persons of interest’.

The group said that the technology was originally developed as an early warning system that could identify potential threats and prevent assets or criminal attacks before they happened.

“Since we know that crime often involves scouting, which takes place over a period, Scarface stops that process at the early stages before it matures with detailed and often classified information, by allowing early detection and/or apprehension of transgressors. Overall the system provides increased risk mitigation through a proactive approach to suspect identification.”

The technology is fully autonomous and requires no user intervention to function as a recognition platform.

High-resolution cameras are linked to a credible database that is used to boost the accuracy of identifying suspects on-site, with the group noting that it uses the highest levels of recognition rates possible to ensure that persons of interest are detected accurately.

It added that identifying a face occurs rapidly and the system is incredibly efficient in the verification of a person of interest.

One of the practical ways that the technology is being used is to identify illegal miners, known colloquially as ‘zama zamas’ that have occupied abandoned mines.

An estimated 14,000 zama zamas are estimated to be involved in illegal mining in the country, at some 6,000 abandoned mining sites across the country.

Using its Scarface technology, the Bidvest Protea Coin is able to identify persons of interest who might have intentions of engaging in criminal activity in mines.

The system tracks activities by linking the person of interest to prior incidents and updating their unique profile. When required, Scarface can also provide visual evidence in criminal cases.


Read: New hijacking trends to look out for in South Africa



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