French railway firm testing software monitoring suspicious behaviour

Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November, France’s state-owned railway company SNCF is trialling software that screens suspicious conduct and baggage.

The new software, which could be incorporated into 40,000 surveillance cameras across France, tracks changes in body temperature, irregular body movements and raised voices that can show increased levels of nervousness, the SNCF’s General Secretary Stephane Volant told local news.

Social acceptability of surveillance software

“We are testing to work out what flags up people with a negative intention, an aggressor, or a groper,” he said, but noted the firm are also trying to determine the level of “social acceptability” of such software.

Cameras that recognise luggage left unattended for a long time are likewise under assessment, Volant said.

Other security measures

Another strand of SNCF’s strategy was the possibility of equipping its staff with wearable cameras to identify fare dodging or suspect behaviour, and in the spring it will launch an app that allows passengers to raise an alert from their smartphones.

Other security measures under consideration include outfitting railway staff with portable cameras to identify suspect behaviour or fare evaders. SNCF is also planning to launch an app, which will permit travellers to raise an alarm from their smartphones.

Physical measures such as security gates at stations and empowering railway security agents to carry out security pat-downs and search passengers’ luggage are also being discussed.


Edited from sources by Cecilia Rehn.

Sources: Yahoo The Local