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Live facial recognition is tracking kids suspected of being criminals in Buenos Aires

In Argentina, an extensive facial recognition tracking minors suspected of being criminals has been uncovered, with security professionals calling it the first of its kind. Tens of thousands of entries and targets contain personal details such as names, birthdays, national IDs of minors suspected of crimes. The youngest alleged offender in the database, cited for “crimes against persons (malicious)” is just four years old. The database is referred to as CONARC for short and was established in 2009 in an effort to improve law enforcement response to serious crimes.

Cybersecurity experts have heavily criticized the practice, stating that the information is stored in a plain-text spreadsheet that lacks protection, available to be downloaded by anyone, and easy to find through Google Search. A watchdog organization, Human Rights Watch, recently conducted an investigation into the organization and found that not only are children regularly added to the crime offenders list, but the database is also essential in powering a live facial recognition system in Buenos Aires. This means that Argentina is likely supporting the first operation of this kind, tracking down minors who are suspected of criminal activity through facial recognition software.

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