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Pandemic and Security: Red Alert

- Reengineering of Human Identification Media
Juan C. Moratto
Bachelor in Operations Research
This work is covered by Licence Creative Commons
Ministry of Defense-Argentina
Atribution-Sharealike 4.0 Internacional
Buenos Aires- Argentina Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Pandemic and Security: Red Alert

Reengineering of Human Identification Media

Argentina, like other countries, determined that face mask are “of compulsory social use”, a
logical measure from the health point of view that causes and will cause difficulties in security
and law enforcement: all people transit with their hidden, masked face, day or night.

What implications does it have? Any criminal act will go unpunished unless police catch the
perpetrator red-handed (flagrant). Outside of this, most crimes will go unpunished and
criminals can move freely without risk.

Lic. Juan Moratto

Security Advisor/Security Consulting

Judicial Expert TSJ-Neuquén


The Pandemic unleashed by SARS-COVID-19 has implications for 100% of human activities, its
global social consequences are still immeasurable. In this sense, citizens demand more than
ever a security infrastructure that guarantees social peace, help from the national health
system, access to consumer goods, financial resources and work activities.

However, there is an Achilles heel hidden in the public and private security infrastructure, a
factor "X" that not considered until now: human identification during and after a pandemic or,
what is the same, the forced re-engineering of said mechanism as a product of COVID.

The "X" factor is that small piece of protective cloth placed on the face: the face mask. Adding
protective glasses and latex gloves as optional additional protection elements worsen the
security problem.
The face mask and gloves, essential to avoid contagion, are paradoxically those that most
affect public and private security: they hide the means by which a person passively claims to
be who they say they are.

To the point: security professionals face a new challenge. How to identify people if personal
protections block all the latest technical devices such as fingerprint readers and face
identification and recognition systems?

Should we reuse the means of evidence 80 years ago that made the justice system cry out for a
modernization to prevent more criminals from continuing to act with total impunity or
condemning hundreds of innocents to the most infamous prisons in our country? To what
extent would an “anonymous” citizen impact our society and if any government will consider
convenient identifying the citizens with a number, QR code or digital ID - as was the tragedy
caused by the Germans during the Second World War?

Or conversely, how would any citizen feel if we view him with suspicion by hiding his face
behind a mask and a pair of glasses? Will GLOBAL technological development be necessary to
find a solution?

Let's see, a simple example.

Two people enter a store, both have masks, sunglasses and latex gloves. They extract weapons
threatening the employees; they demand the money from the box. One employee makes a
move that shows his intentions to access a cell phone. The criminals shoot him and flee

The commercial video cameras, by not registering any face, only show two people: neither
male nor female, with coats, anthropometrically undefinable and the hidden face.
Simultaneously, the citizen security cameras register the two assailants in the same way as the
local one.

The criminals, 200 meters from the site, take off their glasses and face mask, keep their coats
in their backpacks and separate, taking opposite paths. Identification possibilities are nil and
biometric possibilities are endless. End of story.

There is no evidence on the theft and murder. There are no faces, their faces are legally and
compulsorily hidden. The citizen CCTV system and the private trade CCTV system unexpectedly
showed their uselessness.

It is necessary to establish a split analysis between the implications on Public Safety and
Corporate Safety since the impacts of these sanitary measures are different. Public Security is
inextricably linked to Justice - not the political power - and Corporate Security depends only on
the shareholders and managers of the company, whether they are governmental (National
Company), private nationals or foreigners, and NGOs. However, Corporate Security cannot
overlap what National Law establishes and over Public Security.

Public Security (Law

Enforcement, Criminal Laws)

Private and Corporate

Security (Private
Security Organizations,
Regulations and
Regulatory measures)
Let us project, for example, cases of risk that a CCTV system cannot register faces:

>> Public domain security:

• Control and registration of faces in Access to airports on a domestic flight (Migrations).

• Access to banks and public buildings with masks, glasses and gloves.

• Access to all kinds of public places / sites enabled.

>> Corporate security:

• Entrance to private dependencies "masked".

• Access to shops.

• Controls of the logistics / supply chain.

• Individual control of payments (in supermarket ATMs with electronic cards, for example).

The main drawback is legal: no person from both the public and private forces can compel
another to attack their health due to viral exposure and to public safety, by spreading the
virus, telling them to “remove your face mask" or “remove your gloves” since in any country in
the world he would commit a crime.

We have a double problem: applying preventive measures based on the assumption that any
citizen is a suspect - which implies a serious violation of our Constitution - or not applying
preventive measures and being liable to be committing a crime. That is to say: potentially a
crime is being committed by recklessness or malpractice in either case.
Public roads and Public Safety

The latest public mobilizations in Hong Kong caused a chaos in the security forces who
requested that the protesters take off their masks since their identification was not possible (?!)

The variety of crimes is very wide and being the face mask, gloves and glasses a guarantee of
forced cover-up we quote the most common (from a legal point of view):

• Theft and Theft (in all its variants).

• Fraud with means of payment (credit cards, debit cards, subsidies, plans where the identity
must be demonstrated just by exhibiting the DNI that could be stolen a while before)

• Rape and sexual assault.

• Kidnappings.

• Homicides.

• Terrorist acts.

• Vandalism (including fires).

• Trafficking / Marketing of narcotic drugs.

On public roads anyone can assault another without being recognized and, even if he is
subsequently arrested, there will be no reliable evidence of the authorship of the crime.

Only the capture would be workable at the time of the incident, "in flagrante delicto."

And this is not a minor fact, since both the prevention and the suppression of the offender
must be carried out in flagrante delicto since any subsequent action would have no basis and
the prosecuting attorney must prepare himself for an extensive trial based on circumstantial
evidence and evidence that, unfortunately, they turn out to be the most laborious, extensive
and with an unpredictable result. A headache for any jurisconsult.
As collateral data in the public sphere, we can observe a very serious inconvenience: the
criminals caught in flagrante delicto or circumstantial suspicion, where will they be detained?

Our law shows in a police station, then in preventive detention under the investigative court
until the trial is ruled and finally pandemic in between - trial and conviction.

The offender's lawyers can resist any of these stages and, human rights can intervene to
support the will of the accused who resists a prison environment unsuitable for a pandemic -
as 100% of police stations are and Detention Centers of our country-. And for those who, with
total ignorance, express expressions such as "they deserve it", I show: in the stage of detention
and prosecution, nobody deserves to die of an infection and even less ... if they are innocent.
The only responsible is the National State.

The Argentine police must drastically change their protocols to avoid being mistaken for
criminals. This example is revealing since it does not carry a riot helmet, its weapon is a non-
regulatory automatic shotgun. The consequence is that it responds to the criminal pattern

Criminals in full fragrance of crime and with their hidden face similar to homemade or “social”
face mask ready to be apprehended.
Security in the private sphere

The structural problem of current security lives in the impossibility of the individual
identification required for access to a place or thing by means of biometric electronic systems,
in other words, the "control of access, circulation and / assistance" to a physical site or object.

The situation is like the public sphere, but with greater possibilities of solution.

There are many companies that control the schedules of their personnel using biometric or
fingerprint devices or systems. They cannot use these devices since we suspect them of
transmitting the COVID-19 virus by contact surface, Colombia has already prohibited their use
in 100% of the country's companies, public and private, considering them to be a potential
source of infection.

Nor can we can ask the employee to apply his hand without gloves, due to the aforementioned
and, with gloves, the equipment is inoperative.

And this also applies to ALL procedures that require placing the fingerprint or pressing a PIN on
a keyboard with buttons or push buttons, since the SARS-COV19 is transmitted by surface and
by air.

Finally, as the public safety face recognition system and a good part of the identification of
faces and their prior detection, are practically inoperative, the best registration systems are
reserved for the corporate security field but are extremely limited.

Let's differentiate “face detection” from “face recognition”. The first captures the image of a
person using a perfectly positioned camera system, it stores the faces in a database (public or
private) within the disk of the video surveillance recorder. That is the first function, while
“recognition” operates intelligently by analyzing the faces captured by the camera in real time
and compared to the faces stored in the database for identification:
This is how a face is detected: first the relevant points are marked and then the dimensional
vectors (proportions) complete the analysis. It stores both images in the database for
identification. The first is sufficient for Detection and counting of people. This detection system
belongs to a Chinese factory of equipment destined for this purpose. There are other analysis
patterns, but they all operate the same way.

Face truncated by the face mask or mask: the visible part is not identifiable or recognizable and
difficult to detect as "face". There is no biometric system that can identify this image.

Dynamic face identification and storage:

Conclusions of the Situation

Face mask is and will continue to be mandatory, which prevents the biometric identification of
a person's face, making it impossible to know their identity, biometric characteristics, sex,
ethnicity or criminal background analysis.

Cravings for complementary use: it has been shown that the virus enters through any
connective tissue (hence, health personnel must wear integral plastic protectors on their faces,
apart from glasses and face mask).

Gloves hide the papillary ridges of the fingers, the mark they leave cannot be experienced and
is not used for identification. Since the virus is also transmitted by surface, people couldn’t be
forced to touch a surface. Its use is virtually mandatory and limits the use of keyboards to
enter a PIN or place your finger to gain access to restricted places.


In the public or citizen security sphere:

National, provincial and municipal CCTV video surveillance systems lose both their
effectiveness in locating people and their evidentiary nature before the law in those cases
where the identification of a person through their face is forced.

It affects the identification and recognition of faces in airports and the control of migrations,
access to state dependencies where image capture is required, etc.

The direct impact is suffered by the forces of the law and the judicial body since, lacking the
fundamental elements of identification that the 20th century incorporated, such as the
fingerprint and the image of the face, their work will be seriously compromised.

In private and public companies:

1) The CCTV systems of private companies lose their effectiveness in terms of evidence against
illegal material when the face of the perpetrator is required. Likewise, video recording
resources to detect intrusions, access control and others have a relative effectiveness,
especially since private security is prohibited from acting except in flagrante delicto - and this
figure is in constant conflict in judicial areas.

2) Biometric systems intended to control access to companies, control of movement within

them (laboratory, warehouses and special or reserved offices, etc.), control of attendance for
exit / entry of employees is also no longer used. It cannot apply the fingerprint.

3) Access control systems by keyboard or PIN are also suppressed because the person must
contact an unsterilized surface.

4) For those companies that dedicate themselves to the provision of products and services to
the final consumer, the situation is more complicated because, in this case, unlike the previous
point where the superior can pressure the employees under threat of dismissal to use
Biometric systems cannot apply such guidelines to a client under pain of being reported to the
courts. In these cases when the payment of a product or service is required, the client is asked
to enter a PIN which cannot be made effective, and deliver a means of payment card.

5) All companies that use biometrics and PIN control systems for ALL logistics systems, both
inbound (inputs to the company) and outbound (products from the company).

There are many more systems in the business field that use PIN or password systems that must
be entered by multiple people, and auxiliary biometric systems that have various uses.

Appearance of a black swan, out of all forecast in all this problem that aggravates the
situation: 3D masks with a face printed on them (own or others):

Since many cell phones do not detect a face with a face mask to unlock, a company designed a
model that transforms a conventional 2D image into a 3D image that allows for stamping on a
face mask / mask. We have a dual-use product: the user's face or any other face found on the
Internet is reproduced generating a terrible situation: false positives (people identified by
witnesses who have nothing to do with a crime). The designer? Danielle Baskin, San Francisco,

Roadmap for the solution to these problems

Security science structured people's identification systems under three concepts and
originated three technological families.

We base the principles of identification on "What I am", "What I know" and "What I have".

"What I am" refers to the attributes of an individual which are part of him or what is the same,
all its biometric characteristics, fingerprints, face, retina, voice, etc.

"What I know" refers to everything that the individual knows and serves to identify him. In
everyday life there are passwords or passwords, user names, bank PIN and the different
alphanumeric keys, the names of relatives, addresses, etc.

“What I have” encompasses the entire family of objects in a person's possession: identity
document, identification cards, magnetic cards, tags, etc.
Critical Analysis of Solutions: The Fourth Wave

It is clear that the use of current resources for the identification of people enters a period of
transition to give rise to a new generation, both methodological and technological, which
could be called "the fourth wave", deeply oriented to achieve security efficiency sued for over
the smooth and flat application of technology.

Solutions start from a superior approach to security, based on strategic planning, holistic and
deeply linked to new social and structural habits.

In the new stage of security, Bertillon's principles are combined (such as the 1890s spoken
portrait), criminal anthropology with the elaboration of solutions structured around highly
complex and elaborate video analytics, access control closely linked with the individual, and all
security systems based on artificial intelligence and deep-learning.

Multidisciplinary security: integrating psychology, sociology, anthropology, criminology,

criminalistics, medicine, besides the classic ones such as law, intelligence, electronic
technology and other sciences well known to all. Left behind are conventional public security
(tonfa, pistol, whistle, and patrol car) and corporate security (cameras, biometric clocks,

Reason: two-dimensional society has changed and crime is mutating and “criminal
displacement” is awaited, with unpredictable implications.

>> Public Security

Public Security protocols must be reconverted (at least until Artificial Intelligence and Deep-
Learning have practical and commercial developments) to security systems based on face
identification and recognition.

Therefore, the following measures are expected to have acceptable success:

• Cameras (domes and landlines combined) at neuralgic zonal points showed 100% by the
Intelligence departments of the different National and Provincial police forces.

• Prevention and situational control of crime.

• Community Oriented Policing (COP)

• Intelligence on cybersecurity with zonal, provincial and national nodes.

These measures would partially offset the impossibility of detecting faces on public roads and
establish a mechanism that would contribute to the security of private organizations.

>> Private Security

Organizations make limited use of face identification and recognition for personal
identification. We must intensify the video surveillance registry since they become a key
resource in security as the possibility of recognition by public cameras is lacking.
In this sense, the main companies should replace conventional cameras with cameras for the
identification and recognition of faces within their private sphere so it can make them
available by court order or law enforcement (Liaison).

Regarding access control, circulation and identification systems, the classic magnetic card can
replace biometric systems or by an RFID card / tag, although these have showed their extreme
vulnerability (copying, transmission, loan, replacement, etc. .).

I suggest to apply the most suitable identification system to cell phones, the technology called
NFC (Near Field Communications-Communications at near distances), two-way (encrypted
transmission and reception). Said system allows a unique and secret code to be sent to a
reader to enable access, record schedules, etc; It is like the well-known Bluetooth but with
strong end-to-end encryption.

In addition, this non-transferable system allows payments, data transfer, access to offices, and
recording entry and exit times. From paying the SUBE card to accessing –with the same phone-
an area with classified information.

In the event of theft or loss, the password may become invalid.

Another valid system, with payments or collections, is the application of the personal cell
phone through the QR code generating systems.

The aforementioned solutions change "what I am" to "what I have", the latter being non-
transferable and, in case of losing the cell phone, it can be easily be deactivated remotely.
They are not hackable.
Another alternative is reflected in the "iris reading" and "palm of the hand" systems (the family
of "non-contact" models, gloves do not penetrate), those with "contact" analyze the pattern of
the capillaries of a person (on certain models) still wearing gloves.

The palm reader without contact with capillary analysis would be within the possibilities since
it is biometric and does not require contact, and the person can remove the glove without risks
to their health:


Technological renewal is imperative. Sanitary measures cannot be implemented by

dissociating themselves from Public Security, Corporate Security and Sanitary
Security, these three disciplines create the favorable environment so that society can
be guaranteed the standard of living it deserves.
The risks are evidenced in the following photographs, the first two belong to a young man who
in March / 2008 caused a tragedy in a school in Brazil murdering 6 people, including 4
teenagers, similar to Columbine, the third is a photo of conventional study: Can you tell who is
more dangerous?