view counter

Facial recognitionGermany testing face-recognition software to help police spot terrorists

Published 12 June 2017

Germany will be testing facial recognition software at a Berlin train station this summer to see whether it can assist police identify terror suspects more quickly. Volunteers will help police test the software at Berlin’s Suedkreuz station. If the test is successful, the use of the biometric software would be expanded to other locations, and also used to help police identify criminals, not only people suspected of terrorist activities.

Germany will be testing facial recognition software at a Berlin train station this summer to see whether it can assist police identify terror suspects more quickly.

The Local reports that Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that volunteers will help police test the software at Berlin’s Suedkreuz station. If the test is successful, the use of the biometric software would be expanded to other locations, and also used to help police identify criminals, not only people suspected of terrorist activities.

We already have video surveillance in train stations, of course. But we aren’t able, for example, to put a picture of a terrorist on the run into software that would alert us when he appears in a station,” Maiziere said in an interview on the website of the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

If this software proves reliable, it should be able to be used for serious crimes in other places equipped with surveillance cameras,” he said.

The Tagesspiegel report said the system which will be tested this summer was unlikely to run into legal obstacles since its use would be limited to targeting specific suspects, and thus would not violate the rather stringent German privacy laws.