AP NEWS

Germany extends facial recognition test at rail station

December 15, 2017

A computer with an automatic facial recognition system shows German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, center right, as he visits the Suedkreuz train station in Berlin, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. At the train station, German authorities test automatic facial recognition technologies. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, pool)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s top security official is extending tests of automatic facial recognition technology after an initial six-month trial showed the system had a good success rate.

The tests used high-quality pictures of more than 200 volunteers to identify them as they passed through Berlin’s Suedkreuz railway station.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Friday that cameras spotted the volunteers more than 70 percent of the time, with the wrong person flagged in less than 1 percent of cases.

De Maiziere said a second six-month trial will test whether the system can recognize a person as effectively using lower-quality images, such as when no police mug shot of a fugitive is available.

He wants to roll the system out at train stations and airports nationwide if the second tests succeed.

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