DNA & Facial Recognition: Hong Kong Billboards Identify Litterbugs

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

Littering is a serious problem in Hong Kong. The city has put up billboards that, with the help of facial recognition software and the analysis of DNA found in trash, are able to identify individuals who litter by targeting those responsible for the problem.Cameras are built within the billboards, and they will take images of anyone passing by and littering. After then, facial recognition software examines the photographs in an effort to establish the identities of those who committed the crime. If the program is effective, the person’s name and photo will be published on the billboard alongside a message advising them to refrain from littering. The message will be displayed only if the software is successful.The billboards have sparked debate since some individuals feel that they intrude people’s privacy and act as a form of public shaming. Others feel that they are harmless. However, city officials insist that they are essential in order to address the issue of litter.To this point, the billboards have proved effective in reducing the amount of garbage that is left behind in the locations in which they have been placed. Even while there are still some people who litter, the city is holding out hope that the billboards will eventually help to change the behavior of such people.
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