The Guardian — Big Brother Watch responds to Met Commissioner’s attack

Big Brother Watch Team / February 24, 2020

During the Inaugural Annual Security Lecture, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said large volumes of data seized are one of biggest contributors to growing demands on police resources.

Transforming for the digital age is the number one corporate priority for the Met, Dick said. Big emphasis on police use of “data and digital”. But it must aid, not replace, human policing – “augmented intelligence”, she stated.

Dick said they’ll grow public support by drawing analogies with past innovations like fingerprints, DNA, CCTV, where common law was initially relied on too. She also said “sometimes you don’t know what the public will support until you try it”.

Dick has been strong against us — people concerned about human rights and facial recognition. She said critics are the loudest voice (thanks) but highly inaccurate and ill-informed. She then said only people wanted for serious crimes are on FR watchlists – which isn’t true. Who’s ill-informed?

It’s unhelpful for the Met to reduce a serious debate on facial recognition to unfounded accusations of ‘fake news’. Dick would do better to acknowledge and engage with the real, serious concerns.

Dick was asked about China and whether other countries are using facial recognition in the right way. She noted there are 3 approaches to data: commercialisation, protection, exploitation. Dick said good that we do protection but we absolutely must “be in the exploitation business”.

The Guardian — Met police chief: facial recognition technology critics are ill-informed

The Register — London’s top cop dismisses ‘highly inaccurate or ill informed’ facial-recognition critics, possibly ironically

The Telegraph — Met Chief defends facial recognition technology as vital tool in fight against violent crime

BBC News — Met Police chief defends facial recognition from ‘ill-informed’ critics