‘Banned’ technology in Sylhet, Huawei camera increases fear of harassment

Adnan Rahman, Staff Reporter Published: 12 September 2019, 08:47 PM | Updated: 14 September 2019, 01:13 PM
‘Banned’ technology in Sylhet, Huawei camera increases fear of harassment

It was intercepting the innocent people while identifying the criminals. It was also wasting time of police and increasing harassment of general people. Consequently, facial recognition cameras have been banned in four cities of the United States, including San Francisco, Auckland recently. 

For the first time, 110 facial recognition cameras have been set up in Sylhet city in Bangladesh. Ten of those will work to identify the criminals. Huawei, a Chinese technology company, has provided cameras, tracking systems and other devices. Many have raised questions about the effectiveness of the camera in different countries. Huawei’s camera provided false positive result during the experimental preparation.

Sylhet Metropolitan Police said the alarm will automatically ring in the control room if any of the accused, a person involved in the crime or a blacklisted vehicle number is caught in an area covered by an IP camera. Police will be sent to the scene directly from the control room to detain the victim or the vehicle.


Information technology experts say that facial recognition is a biometric method. It basically works to identify people by appearance. However, it often detects wrongdoing due to the low quality lenses and sensors. In many countries of the world, it has been banned after failing to identify the black men and women.

Easy Automation Limited, a contractor company, has been given the responsibility to implement the “Digital Sylhet City” project worth Tk 30 crore. It costs around Tk 4 crore to buy 110 cameras and sorting software. With the setup of each CCTV camera, the price is around Tk 3.50 lakh.

Digital Sylhet City Project Director Mohammad Mahidur Rahman Khan told Jago News that algorithms are used in this technology. If the offender’s appearance matches our camera with 80 percent, it will identify the offender and give an alarm to the control room. 

ICT expert Tanvir Hassan told Joha Jago News that we call such technology “Artificial Intelligence”. This is definitely a breakthrough for Bangladesh. A lot of data is stored here. With this technology, the lenses and sensors can detect human appearance. If the lens and sensor of a device is low quality, it will detect wrong. This is what happened in different countries.


Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua said that this is a part of surveillance. But, through this the society is considered criminal. In the eyes of the law, no one can think of society as a criminal. There is no situation or war in the country now that the accused has to be identified with the camera. 

Zeidan Al Musa, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Media) of the Sylhet Metropolitan Police, told Jago News about the new technology that the work of setting up an IP camera is still underway in Sylhet. 110 IP cameras will be installed throughout the metropolis. So far 55 percent work has been done. The installing of rest of the cameras and technical work is underway. IP camera technology will play an important role in crime prevention if its activities are started in full swing.

In this connection, Jago News contacted with the authorities of Huawei Bangladesh over the matter. Later, they said in a statement that: “A digital world where all things are connected and intelligent is taking shape. And in the digital world, there will be various digital application based on the development trends. The IP camera, for example, is an effective technology which is useful in building a safe and smart city.”

“Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. By localizing the cutting-edge technologies and solutions, Huawei is committed to working with all our partners to serve the people in Bangladesh, and will continue to make significant contributions to Bangladesh’s economic and digital development,” they added.