German minister wants to implement facial recognition at train stations and airports

German minister wants to implement facial recognition at train stations and airportsFacial recognition software at train stations and airports to help identify terror suspects could be introduced in Germany, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told Bild on Sunday.

Maiziere told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that internet software was able to determine whether persons shown in photographs were celebrities or politicians.

"I would like to use this kind of facial recognition technology in video cameras at airports and train stations. Then, if a suspect appears and is recognized, it will show up in the system," he added.

He said a similar system was already being tested for unattended luggage, which the camera reports after a certain number of minutes.

De Maiziere also proposed a ban on rucksacks at large public events. De Maiziere said a ban on rucksacks at large-scale events could also be useful, adding that it would be up to on-site security officials to take that decision.

As a result, organizers of the world's biggest beer festival, Munich's Oktoberfest, have raised security, including banning rucksacks, introducing security checks at all entrances and erecting fencing.

"We must get used to increased security measures such as longer lines, stronger controls and personalized tickets. It's annoying, uncomfortable and costs time, but it's not a limitation on freedom for me. If we were to cancel the Oktoberfest, that would be a limitation on freedom. But not, for example, considering a backpack ban."
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