Moscow Metro Face Pay facial recognition

October 2021
Updated: March 2022

Moscow's metro system has introduced Face Pay, a facial recognition-based cashless, cardless and phoneless system spread across 240 stations. Passengers will only need to look at a camera to travel.

Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin boasted that the city 'is the first in the world to introduce Face Pay on such a scale. The technology is new and very complex, we will continue to work on improving it.'

However, activists are concerned about possible privacy abuse and the potential for surveillance and social control. The system is 'a good pretext to put cameras at the turnstiles' an activist group from told the New York Times.

In March 2020, the BBC reported that protestors against Russia's invasion of Ukraine were likely being identified by the Moscow Metro's facial recognition system.

Operator: Moscow Metro
Developer:
Moscow Metro, VTB Group, VisionLabs, NtechLabs, Tevian

Country: Russia

Sector: Govt - transport

Purpose: Drive sales

Technology: Facial recognition

Issue: Privacy; Dual/multi-use; Surveillance
Opacity: Governance; Privacy