During the “LGBTQ” Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney, Australia, surveillance cameras that can track the number of attendees and their mood were deployed.
The surveillance technology, provided by a company called Dynamic Crowd Measurement, can measure crowd density by counting cell phone frequencies in a specific area. The cameras also come equipped with the ability to track the crowd's mood.
Previously, the technology was deployed during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney.
A spokesperson for the parade said the cameras were only used to “direct people to less crowded zones if areas become too full.”
“The technology helps with managing the safety of the crowd by measuring capacities, allowing operations to zone in on an area that needs immediate response or to plan ahead for where there are areas of growing crowds,” the Mardi Gras spokesman added.
“There is no facial recognition tracking and it cannot track people from one place to another. It provides real-time metrics that snapshot the crowd across the entire route at any given point to inform proactive crowd management decision-making.”
They also said that the data was handled by the organizers of the parade, who fed “specific metrics” to law enforcement on the ground to direct the attendees. They insisted no other data was shared with law enforcement.