Facial Recognition in the Moscow Metro

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Facial Recognition in the Moscow Metro
Excluded from graph
Deployment Status Ongoing
Deployment Start Date
Deployment End Date
Events * uses Record type Property:Has event

Start (1 December 2020, Documented, ?, From December 2020 the Moscow metro system introduces facial recognition with a plan to include all metro stations)

Start (15 October 2021, Documented, ?, Since 15 October 2021 all Moscow Metro stations allow to pay for the service through facial recognition system)

City Moscow
Country Russia
Involved Entities Government of Moscow
Keywords
Technology Deployed FindFace
Information Certainty Documented
Primary sources 1, 2, 3, 4
Datasets Used Unknown Dataset 0016
Deployment Type Surveillance, Automated Payments, Political Surveillance
runs search software
managed by Ntech Lab
used by Moscow Metro
Potentially used by
Information Certainty 0
Summary The Moscow Metro has introduced a facial recognition system across all 241 stations, enabling customers to pay by simply looking into a camera. Despite authorities emphasizing its use for payments and security, concerns about potential human rights violations arise. Trial since December 2020, the FacePay system has garnered thousands of users, set for full implementation by October 15. The Moscow IT Department asserts the upgrade's goal is to enhance safety and data protection. However, privacy lawyers and digital rights groups worry about potential misuse, fearing increased surveillance and harassment by the Kremlin against perceived opponents.


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Deployment Purpose: Surveillance, Automated Payments, Political Surveillance

Summary
The Moscow Metro has introduced a facial recognition system across all 241 stations, enabling customers to pay by simply looking into a camera. Despite authorities emphasizing its use for payments and security, concerns about potential human rights violations arise. Trial since December 2020, the FacePay system has garnered thousands of users, set for full implementation by October 15. The Moscow IT Department asserts the upgrade's goal is to enhance safety and data protection. However, privacy lawyers and digital rights groups worry about potential misuse, fearing increased surveillance and harassment by the Kremlin against perceived opponents.


Products and Institutions:

Product DeployedFindFace
Institutions Ntech Lab
DatasetsUnknown Dataset 0016
Search software

Status and Events:

StatusOngoing
EventsStart (1 December 2020, Documented, ?, From December 2020 the Moscow metro system introduces facial recognition with a plan to include all metro stations)
Start (15 October 2021, Documented, ?, Since 15 October 2021 all Moscow Metro stations allow to pay for the service through facial recognition system)
Start Date
End Date

Users:

Involved EntitiesGovernment of Moscow
Managed byNtech Lab
Used byMoscow Metro


Location:

CityMoscow
Country Russia
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Description[ ]

The Moscow Metro has introduced a facial recognition system in all its stations allowing customers to pay just by looking into a camera. Although the authorities claim that this service only used for payment operations and enforcing security, there are worries that the use of this technology may breach human rights.

The Moscow metro system is introducing a new contactless payment system using facial recognition software despite concerns from privacy and security advocates about the technology. The Russian capital's underground rail system, which dates back to the 1930s, has been trialling the use of a facial recognition-based system since December 2020 with thousands of Muscovites already signed up for the scheme. Called FacePay, it will be in place for passengers to use at all 241 stations on Moscow's 14 metro lines from October 15, city authorities said. 1

The Moscow IT Department said the planned upgrade aims to create a safer environment for Moscow residents and to improve data protection. According to the authorities, in July, the Moscow metro facial recognition system detected 221 people from a list of wanted criminal suspects. Privacy lawyers and digital rights groups have already expressed concerns over the human rights implications of the upgrade, including enhancing the Kremlin’s capacity to surveil and harass anyone it perceives as opponents. 2

References

  1. a b  "{Despite privacy concerns, Moscow commuters will be able to use just their faces to ride the metro".
  2. a b  "Russia: Broad Facial Recognition Use Undermines Rights". (2021) <https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/09/15/russia-broad-facial-recognition-use-undermines-rights> Accessed: 2022-06-03
  3. ^  "В метро Москвы теперь можно платить за проезд лицом. Спросили авторов проекта — как это работает". (2021) <https://vc.ru/promo/306052-v-metro-moskvy-teper-mozhno-platit-za-proezd-licom-sprosili-avtorov-proekta-kak-eto-rabotaet> Accessed: 2022-06-03
  4. ^  "{Face detection, verification and recognition technology".