Punjab 'Safe City' surveillance 

The Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) was established in 2015 to improve law enforcement by creating Integrated Command, Control and Communication (IC3) programmes that gather and disseminate data and information across local government offices, police, intelligence agencies, and other organisations for major urban centres across the Punjab region of Pakistan.

The system comprises various technologies, including facial recognition, automated license plate/number recognition, traffic management and police notifications.

Operator: Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA)  
Developer: Huawei; Business Efficiency Solutions (BES)
Country: Pakistan
Sector: Govt - municipal; Govt - police
Purpose: Strengthen law enforcement
Technology: Facial recognition; Computer vision; Machine learning; Automated license plate/number recognition (ALPR/ANPR)
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Business model; Competition/collusion; Effectiveness/value; IP/copyright; Privacy; Security; Scope creep/normalisation; Supply chain management; Surveillance
Transparency: Governance; Privacy

Risks and harms 🛑

Punjab Safe City has proved controversial for a variety of reasons, notably the non-existent or poor functioning of parts of the system, resulting in crime hot spots, and accusations of technology 'theft' involving Huawei and its Pakistan subsidiary.

System reliability, effectiveness

Technology 'theft'

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Research, advocacy 🧮

Page info
Type: System
Published: June 2023
Last updated: May 2024