German minister wants facial recognition systems at airports, train stations

World Sunday 21/August/2016 16:38 PM
By: Times News Service
German minister wants facial recognition systems at airports, train stations

Berlin: Germany's Interior Minister wants to introduce facial recognition software at train stations and airports to help identify terror suspects following two attacks in the country last month.
Speaking to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Thomas de Maiziere said internet software was able to determine whether persons shown in photographs were celebrities or politicians.
"I would like to use this kind of facial recognition technology in video cameras at airports and train stations. Then, if a suspect appears and is recognised, it will show up in the system," he told the paper.
He said a similar system was already being tested for unattended luggage, which the camera reports after a certain number of minutes.
Other countries are also looking at such technology, but Germans have traditionally been sceptical of surveillance due to abuses.
Germans are on edge after militant group IS claimed two attacks in July, one on a train near Wuerzburg and one at a music festival in Ansbach, in which asylum-seekers injured 20 people.
As a result, organisers of festivals have raised security, including banning rucksacks, introducing security checks at all entrances and erecting fencing.
De Maiziere said a ban on rucksacks at large-scale events could also be useful, adding that it would be up to on-site security officials to take that decision.
"We will have to get used to increased security measures, such as longer queues, stricter checks or personal entry cards. This is tedious, uncomfortable and costs time but I don't think it's a limitation of personal freedom," he said.