Facial recognition to pay for your metro ticket in Moscow

The Moscow Metro conducted a demonstration of payment by facial recognition.

Currently tested with volunteers and metro employees, the service will be open to everyone from October 15, across all 241 stations of this gigantic network inaugurated in the 1930s under Stalin.

The press service clarified that the system worked with sanitary masks, always mandatory in public transport, and that it was enough that about half of the face be visible.

The turnstiles will only open in front of real people and not in front of photos, the source said.

The other payment methods will remain available.

“Passengers should not have their phone, their metro card or ticket with them. They will only have to put their information, their photo and their bank details in the application”, explained the deputy head of the press service of the city’s transport department, Anna Lapouchkina.

In the Moscow metro, one of the busiest in Europe, payment by recognition will reduce waiting times because it is “three times faster” than traditional methods, also argued Ms. Lapouchkina, during her press conference where journalists were not allowed to ask questions.

Facial recognition is developing rapidly in Russia. Since the start of the pandemic, this technology has been used in particular by the city of Moscow and its tens of thousands of surveillance cameras to monitor compliance with containment and quarantines.

In March, the country’s leading distribution group, X5, announced the launch of this payment method in its stores.

Several Russian and international NGOs have criticized the massive use of facial recognition, pointing to abuses, data leaks and a lack of consent.

“The uncontrolled use of these technologies has serious implications for human rights and fundamental freedoms and is already being used for the purposes of political persecution.”Human Rights Watch denounced last Friday in a statement.


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