Israeli firm developing body cams with facial recognition tech for police

Israeli firm Yozmot reportedly partnered with Israeli startup Corsight AI to develop facial recognition cameras to be worn by police officers.

A computer with an automatic facial recognition system shows German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, center right, as he visits the Suedkreuz train station in Berlin (photo credit: REUTERS/MARKUS SCHREIBER/POOL)
A computer with an automatic facial recognition system shows German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, center right, as he visits the Suedkreuz train station in Berlin
(photo credit: REUTERS/MARKUS SCHREIBER/POOL)

An Israeli firm is developing body cams equipped with facial recognition technology for Israel Police officers, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday.

The technology is being developed by Yozmot, a strategic planning and consultancy firm owned by former IDF chief of regional strategic planning Col. (res.) Danny Tirza, who is the architect behind the West Bank security fence.

The firm partnered with Israeli startup Corsight AI to develop the facial recognition cameras to be worn by police officers, Tirza told AFP.

By matching faces to old photographs on its database, the camera developed by Yozmot will be able to instantly identify people in a crowd, even if they are wearing camouflage, make-up or masks.

Corsight refused to confirm the collaboration with Yozmot, according to the news agency, but has said that it was working with some 230 “integrators” worldwide who incorporated facial recognition software into cameras.

  Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

The technology is already prevalent in Israel. The IDF has come under scrutiny for the alleged large-scale efforts to monitor Palestinians by using facial recognition on a network of cameras and smartphones, according to The Washington Post.

In 2019, it was reported that Israeli facial recognition company AnyVision was being used at checkpoints in the West Bank and to monitor potential Palestinian assailants.

In December, Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, currently director of the Israel division of Tokyo-based holding company SoftBank, emphasized the importance of facial recognition tech in counterterrorism and law enforcement.

“Governments and corporations around the world today face security threats everywhere – within the organization’s facilities, on the street, in the face of threats of damage and theft and, of course, in the face of national security threats,” he said at a conference for AI company Oosto in Ra’anana. “Facial recognition is a key tool for dealing with these threats.”