German Minister defends controversial surveillance pilot project that uses facial recognition technology

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere defended a controversial surveillance pilot project on Thursday which uses new facial recognition technology.

Representational image.

Representational image.

Speaking on the ARD Morgenmagazin tv-show, de Maiziere insisted that the technology could be used to enhance Germany's security if it proved successful during an ongoing six-month test at the Suedkreuz Berlin railway station.

According to Xinhua news agency, he also visited the Suedkreuz railway station later on the same day, saying that it remained to be clarified under what legal framework the technology could be used.

De Maiziere was responding to calls for an immediate halt to the pilot project following claims that federal police had misled 300 people who volunteered to participate in the scheme.

"The transponders which subjects carried with them for additional identification collect much more data than previously revealed by the federal police," data protection organisation Digitalcourage was quoted as saying.

German Federal Privacy Commissioner Andrea Vosshoff voiced similar concerns in the Berliner Zeitung on Thursday, saying that participants had not been adequately informed.

She demanded that federal police reapply for approval for the pilot project before continuing with tests.

Published Date: Aug 25, 2017 16:46 PM | Updated Date: Aug 25, 2017 16:46 PM