INTERPOL hosts first facial recognition symposium

8 October 2015

LYON, France – Developing best practice in facial recognition was the focus of an INTERPOL symposium at the world police body’s General Secretariat headquarters.
Bringing together some 90 experts from 40 countries, the two-day (6 and 7 October) meeting addressed a range of issues including the latest developments in forensic face comparison and automated recognition systems.


The use of facial recognition to identify child sexual abuse victims from images found online was also high on the agenda.

Delegates were updated on INTERPOL’s facial recognition initiatives as part of its ongoing forensic capability development, including the development of a database using existing facial images of international fugitives and missing persons. Supported by Morpho, once the database is online, it can be connected to member countries to significantly enhance identification possibilities.

Plans for INTERPOL to make selected facial images available within mobile devices to assist operations and investigations by police in the field were also outlined at the Symposium.

This would enable frontline officers to carry out facial recognition checks in real time against specific watch lists including for foreign terrorist fighters and internationally wanted persons. It would also support INTERPOL’s international border management taskforce by checking the identity of individuals using a photograph from documents such as passports.

The symposium was bracketed by a meeting of the INTERPOL facial experts working group on the 5 and 8 October with the focus of developing an INTERPOL facial identification training course.