Beijing deploys facial recognition tech in subway
30 October 2019 15:22 GMT

Beijing will use facial recognition tools to speed up security checks in the city's overcrowded metro, according to state-run media.

Zhan Minghui, Director of Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center, said that the new security check system will divide passengers into groups in order to better understand and manage passenger flow of the Beijing subway system.

Databases will be implemented, including one related to identifying prohibited items, which aim to assist subway security screening staff in implementing safety policies and prioritising security checks.

As passengers enter a station, the facial recognition technology can recognise them and cross-check their profile through cameras which are connected to the online databases.

If the checks come back with abnormal feedback from the facial recognition scan, further security measures would be adopted, Zhan said.

The city plans to install cameras that will scan the faces of passengers as they enter a subway station and sort them into different security channels, said Zhan Minghui, director of the Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center.

He said the plan involves creating a "passenger credit system," and individuals on a "white list" will be offered expedited security clearance, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Those who receive "abnormal feedback" after their faces are scanned will be subjected to extra checks.

Zhan did not offer details on the criteria used to sort passengers or what could trigger that type of feedback.

"The technique aims to improve the efficiency of security checks and includes both body checks and luggage screening when large numbers of passengers enter the station," he told an urban transportation forum in Beijing on Tuesday.

The Beijing subway in May said it has started "deducting credit points" from passengers who eat in railway carriages.