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Mayor of Portimão says she respects expert opposition, but defends use of advanced AI video surveillance

The mayor of Portimão has said today that she respects the advice given out by the Data Protection Commission (CNPD) to go forward with the city’s video surveillance project, but she defends that in 2020 “one cannot invest in outdated technologies.”

According to news from TSF, the Data Protection Commission issued a negative review on the proposals to install an artificial intelligence video surveillance system in the municipalities of Portimão and Leiria. Thus they suggested investing in a surveillance system which lacked the artificial intelligence software that allows for easier identification of individuals

According to the mayor, the CNPD’s opinion deserves all due respect, however, she considers that it is necessary “to see this situation in the light of the new times, because one cannot be investing in technology from 2000 or 2010 in 2020”.

Ms. Gomes assured that the Council still remains available to support the cost of the expensive system, saying that “it is a new technology that has more features, but at the same time respects the privacy of citizens.”

She goes on to say: “I believe that the choice of the PSP must have been carefully thought out and based on the advanced technologies that facilitate the fight against crime. If Portimão is to be a safe city, we must working to keep it going, ”she said.

According to the Mayor, the estimated cost for the installation of the AI-video surveillance system “is around 400 thousand euros”, which is expected to cover the historic trade zone in the centre of Portimão, and the tourist area of ??Praia da Rocha.

The artificial intelligence video surveillance system will allow the municipality to search for people according to their physical characteristics, gender, clothing, or hair colour.

“I believe and have confidence that we have made a conscious choice and that the proposal presented is the best solution. I will wait for what is decided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is analysing the process,” the head of the municipality told Lusa.