Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 11 May 2024

Police in Germany using live facial recognition

By Masha Borak

Police in Germany are employing high-definition cameras and live facial recognition to catch suspects, raising legal questions in the wake of the European Union’s AI Act.

The system, which is deployed by police in the German eastern State of Saxony and in Berlin, can process facial images “with a time delay of a few seconds,” the Berlin public prosecutor’s office toldGerman media outlet Netzpolitik.

In March this year, the Berlin Senate Department for Internal Affairs also confirmed to lawmakers that the system was used in the country’s capital, according to news outlet Heise.

“Facial recognition software has been used by the Berlin public prosecutor’s office in two sets of proceedings in the area of cross-border gang crime,” the Department stated.

The prosecutor’s office noted that it does not see this as comprehensive surveillance. However, legal experts and lawmakers such as Die Linke’s Niklas Schrader have been criticizing the use of the technology. Live facial recognition has been particularly controversial in the negotiations on the EU’s new AI regulation. According to the rulebook, the use of this technology in public places is banned but there are exceptions for law enforcement.

“The use of biometric facial recognition from police vehicles is a serious infringement on the personal rights of even those who are not affected. By borrowing the relevant technology from Saxony, Berlin is gradually creating the conditions to implement it across the board,” says Schrader.

Details of the surveillance system have been kept under wraps but it is thought to be linked to the Personal Identification System (PerIS) used by the Saxony police. The system, created by Bremen-based Opto Precision, was first introduced as a pilot project in 2019 to combat serious cross-border crime. The pilot ended in August 2023 but the system continued to be used in the city of Görlitz near the border with Poland.

In a statement last year, a spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior said that automatic biometric data is the exception and not the rule in the use of PerIS and can only be carried out if the legal requirements are met.

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