Fourteen rights groups have penned a letter to the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley calling on him to end the force’s use of controversial facial recognition technology.
Groups including Liberty and Black Lives Matter UK called on Rowley to end the “privacy-eroding, inaccurate and wasteful technology” on his first day in the job.
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Public trust in the police has collapsed in the capital and is being further damaged by the Met’s repeated use of Orwellian facial recognition technology which is both useless and highly invasive.
“These Minority Report style cameras have done absolutely nothing to reduce high rates of violent crime but risk putting our police on a par with those in surveillance states like China and Russia. They have no place in a democracy.
“Millions of Londoners’ faces have been scanned by facial recognition cameras without their consent, and without many parliamentarians’ awareness.
“If the new Commissioner is serious about fighting crime effectively while addressing discrimination in policing, he cannot endorse the use of a technology with an 87% failure rate, that pointlessly drains police resources, and is well known to have issues with racist and sexist misidentifications, many of which we’ve witnessed.
“It is critical that Sir Mark Rowley urgently stops police use of live facial recognition surveillance and takes a smarter approach towards technology in policing.”