FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be held at 8 stadiums and watched by millions of fans, along with 15,000 CCTV cameras hooked up to facial recognition systems.
The international soccer tournament will run from November 20 to December 18, 2022, and is expected to draw a million visitors to Qatar.
The network of facial recognition-equipped security cameras, on the lookout for threats ranging from football hooligans to terrorism, feeds into a command and control center known as Aspire, France24 reports. The organizers say the control center sets a new standard for global sports event security.
Drones are also part of the network, for monitoring the size of crowds on city streets.
Access to events will be controlled through the Hayya Card, a digital identity document that must be applied for by submitting passport scan, along with a high-quality facial image.
Multiple mystery facial recognition providers
The developers behind the facial recognition technology have not been revealed.
An industry source tells Biometric Update that the system integrates facial recognition technologies from multiple vendors, as is often the case in large-scale deployments, to reduce false positive and false negative matches.
NtechLab was reported to be in negotiations to supply its facial recognition technology for the event back in 2019, after supplying its biometric algorithms for World Cup 2018 in Russia. When contacted by Biometric Update the company declined to comment on any role in the security system.
Huawei is the network and IT infrastructure provider for the World Cup, and is providing the City Intelligent Twins smart city platform, according to the Gulf Times, along with 5G, AR, VR, and video technologies intended to improve the experience of attendees. The industry source indicated that Huawei is the system integrator for the facial recognition capability.
The company has not responded to queries about the facial recognition system in place at World Cup 2022 at the time of this article’s publication.