AFIS to incorporate facial image comparison from 2026

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In 2026, fedpol's automated fingerprint and palmprint identification system (AFIS) will be upgraded. As part of the AFIS2026 project, the system will incorporate a new feature for facial image comparison.

Facial image comparison is an additional method for the biometric identification of individuals, especially when fingerprints, palm prints or DNA are not available. This new law enforcement instrument will provide the federal and cantonal migration services, prosecution authorities and border security services with an additional means for identifying persons.

The system works in the same way as fingerprint comparison. It compares the facial image of a person with a facial image in the AFIS database for the purpose of identifying a person.

Facial images from sources such as photos on identity documents or in social media may not be used for comparison. Nor may the facial image of a wanted person be automatically compared with real-time images from surveillance cameras. Facial image comparison is therefore not the same as surveillance by facial recognition, which presupposes real-time surveillance (live scan) and for which there is no legal basis in Switzerland.

Press releases

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Medienmitteilung vom 6. April 2023

Last modification 11.05.2023

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