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Germany tests facial recognition at train station

German authorities have launched a six-month trial of automatic facial recognition technology at a Berlin railway station.

More than 200 people volunteered to have their names and two photos stored for the project at Suedkreuz station, where three cameras film an entrance and an escalator.

While German authorities are optimistic about the programme, security experts say that there is a high potential for errors, which could allow criminals to slip through the system.

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German authorities have launched a six-month trial of automatic facial recognition technology at a Berlin railway station (stock image)

German authorities have launched a six-month trial of automatic facial recognition technology at a Berlin railway station (stock image)

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Three cameras have been installed at Suedkreuz station that will film an entrance and an escalator.

Footage will automatically be scanned by a computer programme, which will compare it with photos stored in a database.

Participants will also carry a small transmitter with them, so the computers can check when they appear, and if the programme recognises their faces independently.

The programme was announced today by Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, who said in a statement that 'technical progress must not stop at our security services.'

The six month test phase will be conducted by the German federal police, Federal Criminal Police Office and the Interior Ministry in conjunction with Deutsche Bahn, the station operator, according to a report in DW.

Three cameras have been installed at Suedkreuz station that will film an entrance and an escalator.

Footage will automatically be scanned by a computer programme, which will compare it with photos stored in a database.

Participants will also carry a small transmitter with them, so the computers can check when they appear, and if the programme recognises their faces independently.

A police spokesperson said: 'We want to test this under normal conditions. Testers can be wearing a hat or bike helmet, or be somewhat smaller and disappear into the crowd.'

But not everyone is convinced about the programme.

The news comes just days after researchers suggested that facial recognition could be used in UK train stations by 2020. The scanning capabilities are so advanced it can tell the difference between a photo of someone's face and their face in the flesh (pictured) 

The news comes just days after researchers suggested that facial recognition could be used in UK train stations by 2020. The scanning capabilities are so advanced it can tell the difference between a photo of someone's face and their face in the flesh (pictured) 

CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROGRAMME 

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