The Justice of São Paulo released the public notice of the Smart Sampaa program that intends to install 20,000 security cameras with facial recognition technology, by the city hall of the capital. The tender was suspended last week.but the measure was overturned in the second instance on the morning of this Tuesday (23).
The electronic auction, which would decide which company would manage the program, was scheduled for this Tuesday. According to the city hall, it should now be done next Friday (26).
The suspension was in response to a request by Councilwoman Silvia Ferraro, who is part of the PSOL Feminist Group in the City Council. The judge of first instance had understood that the city hall did not make it clear how it will guarantee that the data of citizens filmed are protected. In addition, he cited the risk of racism reproduced by facial recognition systems — he cites studies that show a greater amount of errors in identifying blacks through these tools, leading innocent people to prison.
Judge Paola Lorena, from the 3rd Chamber of Public Law, however, understood that no evidence was presented that the system is discriminatory. In this case, according to her, the intervention of the Judiciary in a measure of the Municipal Executive is excessive.
“There is no evidence that the implementation of video surveillance reinforces possible social and racial discrimination, considering that, with regard to articles and journalistic materials, it is not possible to analyze how they were produced or, even, if the authors and their conclusions are independent and impartial” , wrote Lorraine.
“The possibility for the Judiciary to interfere in the management acts of the Executive Branch is an exceptional measure, being possible only in cases of flagrant illegality, under penalty of interference in the merits of administrative acts and offense to the principle of separation of powers”, says the decision. .
The Smart Sampa program intends to integrate the actions of bodies such as GCM (Metropolitan Civil Guard), Military and Civil Police, Metro, CPTM (Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitano), CET (Traffic Engineering Company) and SAMU (Mobile Service of Urgency).
According to the City Hall, cameras will be installed around municipal schools, basic health units, parks and areas of great circulation where there are high rates of theft, theft and other crimes. According to management Ricardo Nunes (MDB), “the initiative will allow for greater effectiveness and agility in responding to occurrences by the GCM and other security agencies”.
The notice for Smart Sampa was even suspended by the TCM (Court of Auditors of the Municipality) in November because of the presence of racist terms. The text said that skin color and instances of “loitering” would be used as criteria to identify suspects.
Terms have been deleted in newer versions of the document, and the public notice was released at the end of April by the court. O program, however, is still being investigated by the Public Ministry of São Paulo and questions to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the city hall, the facial recognition for identifying suspects by Smart Sampa would have a professional to evaluate and validate or not alerts, before they were launched in the system. This check should consider state and federal law enforcement databases.