Moscow Metro to Let Riders Pay With a Glance by Year-End

The Moscow metro system, which carries more people annually than New York’s subway, plans to use its facial recognition technology to allow riders to pay their fares.

The Face Pay system is currently undergoing testing at turnstiles and ticket booths and will be available throughout the system by the end of the year, according to the metro’s head of security Andrei Kichigin, in comments provided by the system’s press service.

The metro has used facial recognition to monitor turnstiles at its stations since September and about 900 people have been detained to date on suspicion of various crimes, Kichigin said. The new system will let people who have submitted biometric data to their bank debit their cards in a process similar to using Apple Pay on a phone.

The Russian capital operates one of the biggest video-surveillance systems in the world and has used it to enforce Covid-19 quarantine orders. Opponents of President Vladimir Putin claim police also used facial recognition to track down people who participated in unsanctioned protests over the arrest of Alexey Navalny earlier this year.

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