German Minister Seeks Facial Recognition for Airports, Train Stations

Germany’s Interior Minister is aiming to implement surveillance technology using facial recognition at the country’s airports and train stations. The official, Thomas de Maiziere, laid out his idea in an article published in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, in which he suggested it could be used to prevent terror attacks.

German Minister Seeks Facial Recognition for Airports, Train StationsThe proposal comes after two incidents of terrorism last month, one a knife and ax attack on a train in which five were injured, and another in which an improvised bomb injured 15 pedestrians near a wine bar. While a Green Party representative has already suggested de Maiziere’s plan has not adequately been thought through, a Social Democrat official suggested such a measure would be acceptable. While this could prove to be a sensitive issue given the country’s history of state surveillance, the public could be particularly receptive to enhanced security measures in the wake of last month’s attacks.

While some other countries are starting to adopt facial recognition at airports for passenger screening, the German minister’s proposal would be somewhat unusual in that it would involve using facial recognition on the people attending the facilities in general, with the aim of automatically identifying known terrorists as soon as they are spotted on surveillance cameras.

Sources: Al Jazeera, RT

August 22, 2016 – by Alex Perala