As use of facial recognition technology by both police and private companies has grown over the past year, so has the debate around the threats the technology poses.
In contrast with fingerprint data which generally must be destroyed after a certain time frame, facial recognition lacks specific rules on retention of images. Again, in contrast to other forms of biometric data, facial recognition data can be acquired without a person’s knowledge. This opens up many questions about the scope of facial recognition technology.
Big Brother Watch Director Silkie Carlo commented on the debate:
“I think there are really big legal questions. The notion of doing biometric identity checks on millions of people to identify a handful of suspects is completely unprecedented. There is no legal basis to do that. It takes us hurtling down the road towards a much more expansive surveillance state.”