Russian authorities seek access to biometric data as law enforcement surveillance increases

A draft bill to require Russia’s state telecom to provide the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB) with bank customers’ biometric data without their consent is being considered by the State Duma, The Moscow Times reports. The proposal coincides with the expansion of a municipal surveillance program powered by facial recognition in Moscow. Rostelecom is operating a project by Russia’s Communications Ministry and Central Bank to remotely verify bank account applications with personal biometrics, including facial images and voice

Sberbank acquires stake in biometrics firm VisionLabs

Russian banking and financial services company Sberbank has acquired 25.07% of facial recognition developer VisionLabs, with the remaining stake belonging to the company’s founders and venture fund Sistema_VC. The bank considers the investment in VisionLabs a “major first step” towards building a biometrics platform for Sberbank involving face, voice and retina identification. Sberbank will use the VisionLabs LUNA platform as the foundation for the identification platform which will be used inside Sberbank’s ecosystem and also be available to the wider

Russia to complete facial recognition research in 2017 to ID criminals at border

Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Research (FPI) said it will complete research on a facial recognition system designed to perform border check duties, in 2017, which will replace human operators of intelligent systems, according to a report by Sputnik News. “Opportunities to address these problems are studied, in particular, within the FPI projects,” FPI said in a statement. “For example, in 2017 it is planned to complete a research project on face recognition in difficult conditions (ie. in situations where automated

Facial recognition startup to cover Moscow’s CCTV network

The Guardian reports that Russian facial recognition company FindFace is finalizing a deal with Moscow city government covering the city’s network of 150,000 CCTV cameras. If a crime is committed, the mugshots of anyone in the area can be fed into the system and matched with photographs of wanted lists, court records, and even social networks. FindFace launched in March and has about 500,000 users. The FindFace service was designed for users of the largest Russian social network “Vkontakte” and

Russia’s biggest bank testing biometric security measures

In an effort to decrease the need for bank cards, Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, is working on biometric security measures including voice and image recognition with an accuracy of 99.9 percent, according to a report in RT. In an interview with Izvestia newspaper, a Sberbank spokesperson said that the voice recognition service will be offered to all the clients throughout Russia, and limited testing is already underway in Moscow. The bank also emphasized that the technology can identify if a

Facial recognition app being used to harass Russian adult film actresses

International Business Times is reporting that FindFace, a facial recognition app that taps neural-network technology, is being used in Russia to identify and intimidate woman who have appeared in pornographic films or have advertised on prostitution and escort services website. The FindFace service was designed for users of the largest Russian social network “Vkontakte” and is based on face recognition technology developed by N-Tech.Lab. Earlier this month, members of a Russian imageboard started a campaign to try to locate and

Russian photographer uses facial recognition in social media experiment

A recent project entitled ‘Your face is big data’ saw an art school student photograph people who happened to sit across from him on the subway and then he used FindFace, a facial recognition app that taps neural-network technology, to track them down on Russian social media site VK. The FindFace service was designed for users of the largest Russian social network “Vkontakte” and is based on face recognition technology developed by N-Tech.Lab. According to a report by PC World,

Russian startup tops UW facial recognition challenge

Russian startup N-Tech.Lab recently became a leader in the MegaFace challenge in face recognition algorithms at the University of Washington. N-Tech.Lab uses advanced techniques in the field of artificial neural networks and machine learning to develop its software products. The company’s facial recognition algorithm extracts the characteristic features of a person’s face from a picture. N-Tech.Lab’s solution was declared the most accurate for the FaceScrub search in large datasets, achieving 73.3% accuracy on 1 million faces. Google’s Facenet and Beijing

Russia to begin fingerprinting immigrants at border points

Russia will be implementing a biometric border management solution at all migrant entry points starting next year to prevent repeated entries by people who have previously been refused entrance. Fingerprinting all immigrants seeking entry “… will help detect foreigners who try to sneak into the country using a new name after they were denied entry,” a source in the Federal Migration Service told the Russian Izvestia newspaper. However, the source added, “it is unclear whether this measure will be applied

Russia to consider bill that calls for mandatory biometric registration of all citizens

MPs from populist Russian nationalist party LDPR have drafted and will soon submit a new bill calling for the mandatory fingerprinting and DNA profiling of all Russian citizens in an effort to increase security measures, according to a report by RT. Roman Khudyakov, the bill’s main sponsor, previously championed mandatory fingerprinting for the entire urban population of Russia, including visitors and foreigners. According to the bill, the biometric information would be stored in a central government database and each citizen