The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, the staff association of the Metropolitan Police, said that China’s use of live facial recognition, which runs 24 hours a day in some locations and has been to track ethnic minorities and ‘political dissidents’ and put 1 million people in detention camps, is “fantastic”, “absolutely correct” and “spot on”. He called for it to be deployed in London “on a 24-hour basis”.
He admitted however that if the technology was as inaccurate as stated by an independent report commissioned by the Metropolitan Police, then “Logic would tell you it’s just not fit for purpose. We’d throw it in the bin if it that’s bad.” The independent report stated that 81% of “suspects” flagged by the Met’s facial recognition technology were identified incorrectly.
Our director, Silkie Carlo, said:
“This chilling endorsement of Chinese mass surveillance, from one of Britain’s most prominent police representatives, serves as a pressing warning against police making policy decisions that affect public freedoms in this country.”
“His denial of the findings of an authoritative review that was commissioned by the Met itself is worryingly dismissive and reveals an ideological commitment in the police for facial recognition that cannot be supported by facts.”