Beat App to launch in phases

April 29, 2021

Police will launch a pilot run of the fourth generation of the Command & Control Communications System Mobile Application, or Beat App, by phases starting from early May.


The app can streamline the enquiry process and alleviates the workload in the Regional Command & Control Centre so that more resources could be deployed for emergency services.


In addition to communicating with the Regional Command & Control Centre via wireless telecommunication devices to ascertain if the person is wanted or reported missing, police officers can use the app to read HKID cards and international passports using optical character recognition technology.


The Beat App can only be installed on official mobile phones of the force. There is a laser engraved police logo on the phone, and Police will continue to devise new differentiating features for the sake of recognition.


The app will only read the card face data, including the name, date of birth and date of issue. It cannot read data in the chip of identification documents, take or store any photos of it.


The screen capture function is deactivated and no data can be duplicated when using the app.


The database enquiry function of the app will only be activated when police officers are on duty. When accessing its database, a digital watermark with date, time and the identification number of the police officer will be shown on each page.


The app provides an additional means for frontline officers to conduct checks on people, vehicle and vessels, reducing the time needed for officers to transcribe data and enhancing the accuracy of data checking.


Police said that there is no change in the overall stop-and-search procedures, adding that the data being checked by frontline officers during these procedures are the same as before.


Regarding information security and protection of personal data, Police have clear and strict internal guidelines regulating the use, storage and retention of personal data collected by officers while performing duties and ensure they comply with the regulations under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.


The force would take all practical steps to safeguard personal data from unauthorised or accidental access, processing or use.


Phase one implementation will involve part of Regional Emergency Units and District Traffic Teams in the pilot run. It will then roll out to all Regional Emergency Units and five selected District Traffic Teams in late May.


Phase two will be launched in August and the use of the app will be extended to all Police Tactical Units, part of Patrol Sub-units and Marine Region.

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