CCTV facial recognition ‘is a threat to freedom’

CCTV facial recognition ‘is a threat to freedom’

Big Brother Watch has described facial recognition technology 'is a threat to freedom'

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The legal officer of Big Brother Watch has described facial recognition software being used by police as “a threat to freedom”.

This comes as the facial recognition technology used in recent London trials was found to misidentified members of the public as potential criminals in 96 per cent of scans.

Griff Ferris from the civil liberties group said the software was “authoritarian”.

He told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “It is really concerning that the police are pressing ahead with using this authoritarian surveillance tool.

“It will be a turning point for civil liberties in the UK if police decide to roll it out permanently.

“It would mean members of the public would be tracked through Britain’s CCTV network.”

The trials by the Metropolitan Police have so far cost more than £222,000 in London.

Mr Ferris said this software was giving police the power “to identify and track people” across the city.

“There is a myriad of reason why – even if this technology was to become accurate – it would be even more concerning,” he said.

“We think that it is incompatible with human rights that technology should be able to scan people’s faces.

“It would treat everyone’s face like a fingerprint. We would be constantly monitored and tracked by police.”

The Metropolitan Police said eight arrests were the direct result of the most recent use of the facial recognition software.

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