Facial recognition technology to be trialled at Berlin railway station

Photo: Michael715 / Shutterstock.com.
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Germany’s Ministry of the Interior has announced a pilot project to employ facial recognition technology at Berlin Südkreuz station.

The six-month trial will overlay facial recognition software over the station’s existing video surveillance system and will track a database of volunteers.

The project is being jointly undertaken by the Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Police, the Federal Criminal Police Office and Deutsche Bahn.

Announcing the pilot, the ministry said the technology would be able to detect people in need of help, as well as suspicious behaviour, and report it automatically. In a statement, the government stressed its commitment to privacy and data protection.

Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said [in German] that good police work wasn’t just about police officers and powers but also ‘good equipment and intelligent technology’.

Berlin Südkreuz is served by Berlin’s S-Bahn network as well as national and international rail services.

There are currently more than 6,000 CCTV cameras across Germany’s 900 or so stations.

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