Federal Criminal Police Office: advanced facial recognition - ear detection included

What's not there: Yes, that's right, even ears can assist in facial recognition. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is currently in the process of checking its biometric system and possibly switching from an 2D to an 3D system, which also includes ear detection. The agency's central facial recognition system (GES) has been in use since 2008 and allows the BKA to examine its data for identification purposes.

Every eighth query successful

This possibility is growing in popularity and leads to more and more queries. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, 2017 had 26.879 searches (2016: 23.064, 2015: 16.773). For a good reason: every eighth inquiry of the Federal Police is successful. A small request has shown that the hits 2017 have approximately doubled compared to the previous year. A great success and finally a meaningful use of biometric data (we say only: face recognition by Facebook ...).

The police authorities and since 2009 also the Federal Police are in their searches about four million photographs from the central INPOL file available. These can be compared with the biometric face recognition system. However, the state offices for the protection of the Constitution have no access to it. Interestingly, the federal police with their "1 from 8" has a much better hit rate than the BKA with only "1 from 34", but the reasons for this are unknown.

Future music: automatic & real-time instead of manual?

The future does not stop at the police search work: at the moment the system is only used manually in person checks or investigations. However, the pilot project "Berlin Südkreuz Safety Station", which the BKA carries out together with the Federal Police and Deutsche Bahn, gives hope for new, even more efficient methods. As part of the project, the use of an automatic real-time query is checked, which works almost like an alarm. If a wanted person passes such a camera, which is connected to the system, she reports this.

Manhunt and crime scene reconstruction via video recording

But back to the "ears update": In recent years, the BKA was the project "GES-3D" here, which also allows the ear recognition. The current review probably indicates that perhaps a move to this 3D system is planned. In addition, the BKA is also involved in several projects with the video analysis and wants to call a "video evaluation platform" to life in order to identify people on videos. Another exciting topic is the reconstruction of crime scenes using video files. Again, appropriate options are examined or models created. CSI sends my regards!


Created on:04/08/2018

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