Lê Quốc Cường, deputy director of HCM City’s Information and Communication Department. —Photo thanhnien.vn
Lê Quốc Cường, deputy director of HCM City’s Information and Communication Department, talks to Thanh Niên (Young People) online newspaper about the ongoing project to build a high-quality surveillance camera system in the city. The department has been assigned to be a focal point to implement the project
The city currently has about 37,000 cameras and has installed a high-quality surveillance camera system. Could you tell us the reason for this?
It is estimated there are about 37,000 cameras in the city now. The cameras have been installed after the city called upon local residents to volunteer to contribute money together with the city to install the cameras and received applause from residents in recent years.
The images taken from the cameras are also integrated into the district authorities’ surveillance system and they help a lot in urban management and ensure urban security.
However, the camera system has used analogue technology; therefore, the images taken from the cameras have low resolution. Besides, due to analogue technology, the cameras can't connect with each other. This leads to image integration and exploitation facing many difficulties.
Thus, the city has worked to install high-quality surveillance cameras with modern technologies since last year. It is believed to be a necessary and specific solution to create an important input picture-data source for the operation of the Smart City Operation Centre, the Traffic Management Centre, and the Centre for Receiving and Processing Urgent Information as well as other facilities to turn HCM City into a smart city.
The installation of the high-quality surveillance cameras will help improve the management capacity of authorised agencies in the city, especially for unified management and administration at all levels of the municipal, district, commune and ward authorities throughout the city.
Currently, about 1,500 high-quality surveillance cameras have been connected and integrated with the Smart City Operation Centre, located in the headquarters of the city People’s Committee. The city aims to install an additional 1,000 high-quality cameras by the end of 2021. The funding for the installation will be mobilised from different sources.
What is the advantage of the high-quality surveillance camera system?
The high-quality surveillance camera system uses artificial intelligence (AI) with the ability to recognise faces, vehicles’ number plate and many other intelligent functions. The system has been integrated synchronously with the city’s map.
When the Centre for Receiving and Processing Urgent Information (with interconnected hotlines of 113 – the police hotline, 114 – the hotline for rescue and firefighting; and 115 – the hotline for urgent medical support) receives a phone call, it will identify the location of the phone call and other related data because the high-quality surveillance camera system has been integrated with the centre.
For example, if the hotline 114 receives a fire-alarm call, the system will detect the location of the fire if there is a surveillance camera in the area to promptly mobilise rescue forces to minimise damage. If the hotline 113 receives a phone call about a robbery, the system will identify the location. If there is a surveillance camera installed in the location, it will help to record the suspect’s face and the tools they used.
The city will quickly install more surveillance cameras in public areas of inner districts to broaden the surveillance network to better serve traffic safety and security management.
How will images from the cameras be used?
Under a draft regulation on management, operation and exploitation data of the surveillance camera system in the city, there will be clear rules on the right to access and exploit data from the camera system; rules on security issues of the data and personal information of people, organisations and enterprises to avoid taking advantage of the camera system to infringe on the rights and legal interests of citizens.
Additionally, the surveillance camera system will be connected through a specialised network system, not connected to the public internet to ensure information safety and security issues.
The draft also regulates the disclosure of camera data provided to individuals, organisations and enterprises. There will be provisions for some of the data to be shared for individuals, organisations, and businesses through online access services, mobile applications or other technical protocols to exploit and use to create added value, contributing to economic and social development for the city and create more convenience for people and the whole community. — VNS