The Metropolitan Police has announced that the live facial recognition cameras are set to be deployed across London for the first time and it is expected to begin within a month. This new step is taken by the London Police in order to tackle serious crimes and this will help in locating and arresting the wanted suspects.
However, the decision to roll out facial recognition technology across London has not been welcomed by privacy and civil liberties groups.
Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, on the use of live facial recognition technology in London stated:
“Scanning people’s faces as they lawfully go about their daily lives, in order to identify them, is a potential threat to privacy that should concern us all. That is especially the case if it is done without people’s knowledge or understanding.
We support keeping people safe but new technologies and new uses of sensitive personal data must always be balanced against people’s legal rights.”
How it is going to be implemented across London
The technology will be deployed at specific locations around London and will be used to scan the faces of the people going under the surveillance, in that way the police can identify the wanted suspects.
The Met Police commented saying –
“The cameras will be focused on small, targeted areas and will be clearly signposted to members of the general public. The force also says that the technology will be separate to other imaging systems such as CCTV and cameras worn by police officers.”
Will It Destroy Public Privacy?
Many privacy groups and democracies are criticizing this new rolled out technology and they believe that it is a dangerous and sinister step which will destroy the privacy and human rights.
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, a privacy campaign group said
“This decision represents an enormous expansion of the surveillance state and a serious threat to civil liberties in the UK”
Met is ensuring that this new step will help in decreasing the crimes which are happening on a daily basis.
The deployment in London follows trials of facial recognition across the UK, with one of the most recent by South Wales Police in Cardiff on the day of Cardiff City v Swansea City football derby.
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