Interpol proposes world face-recognition database

Interpol proposes world face-recognition database

Interpol chiefs will propose the use of automated facial-recognition technology at borders to flag up internationally wanted suspects, according to reports.

The UK already has airport gates equipped with such technology, intended to remove the need for a human border guard to check that a passenger’s face matches the one recorded in his or her passport. According to the Guardian, Interpol database chief Mark Branchflower believes that his organisation should set up a database of facial-recognition records to operate alongside its existing photo, fingerprint and DNA files.

Interpol member nations would have the option of uploading face records of wanted suspects in the same way they already do other biometrics data, and would be able to check an individual’s headshot against the Interpol files as with the other metrics.

The attraction of facial-recognition records, as opposed to conventional mugshots, is that automated searching is possible. A specially-equipped airport gate – or even, in some circumstances, a security camera – would be able to sound an alert every time a person on the Interpol watch list went past. Such detections are often made by border guards and ordinary policemen, recognising suspects from routine circulars and lists, but facial-recognition is seen as potentially more reliable.

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