Moscow metro launches facial recognition payment system despite privacy concerns

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More than 240 metro stations throughout Moscow now enable passengers to pay for a experience by a digicam. The Moscow metro has launched what authorities say is the primary mass-scale deployment of a facial recognition payment system. According to The Guardian, passengers can entry the payment possibility known as FacePay by linking their photograph, financial institution card and metro card to the system by way of the Mosmetro app. “Now all passengers will be able to pay for travel without taking out their phone, Troika or bank card,” Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin tweeted.

In the official Moscow web site’s announcement, the nation’s Department of Transport mentioned all Face Pay data might be encrypted. The cameras on the designated turnstyles will learn a passenger’s biometric key solely, and authorities mentioned data collected for the system might be saved in knowledge facilities that may solely be accessed by inside ministry workers. Moscow’s Department of Information Technology has additionally assured customers that pictures submitted to the system will not be handed over to the cops.

Still, privacy advocates are involved over the rising use of facial recognition within the metropolis. Back in 2017, officers added facial recognition tech to the town’s 170,000 safety cameras as a part of its efforts to ID criminals on the road. Activists filed a case towards Moscow’s Department of Technology a couple of years later in hopes of convincing the courts to ban using the know-how. However, a courtroom in Moscow sided with the town, deciding that its use of facial recognition doesn’t violate the privacy of residents. Reuters reported earlier this year, although, that these cameras had been additionally used to determine protesters who attended rallies.

Stanislav Shakirov, the founding father of Roskomsvoboda, a gaggle that goals to guard Russians’ digital rights, mentioned in an announcement:

“We are moving closer to authoritarian countries like China that have mastered facial technology. The Moscow metro is a government institution and all the data can end up in the hands of the security services.”

Meanwhile, the European Parliament known as on lawmakers within the EU earlier this month to ban automated facial recognition in public areas. It cited proof that facial recognition AI can nonetheless misidentify PoCs, members of the LGBTI+ neighborhood, seniors and girls at greater charges. In the US, native governments are banning using the know-how in public areas, together with statewide bans by Massachusetts and Maine. Four Democratic lawmakers additionally proposed a invoice to ban the federal authorities from utilizing facial recognition. 

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