Germans Told Not to Smile for Photos

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Germany’s interior minister, Otto Schily, ordered passport officials on Thursday not to accept new passport photos in which the applicant is smiling.

Germany’s new biometric passports are intended to be used with facial-recognition computer scanners, which apparently work best when the pictured face is not exhibiting a dramatic expression. “A broad smile, however nice it may be, is therefore unacceptable.” German applicants are instructed to pose only with “the most neutral facial expression possible.”

I imagine this will give a lot of security experts a pretty neutral facial expression too. But I guess it will be easy to pick out the terrorists from now on. They will be all the people in the airport who are smiling, in a dastardly bid to defeat the security scanners.

AP via