Face Off Campaign

#FaceOff

We call on UK public authorities to immediately stop using automated facial recognition software with surveillance cameras

We are deeply concerned about the impact of automated facial recognition on individuals’ rights to a private life and freedom of expression, and the risk of discriminatory impact

We call on the Home Office to automatically remove the thousands of images of unconvicted individuals from the Police National Database

Big Brother Watch

Article 19

defenddigitalme

Football Supporters Federation

Index on Censorship

Institute of Race Relations

Liberty

The Monitoring Group

Netpol

Open Rights Group

Police Action Lawyers Group

Race Equality Foundation

Race On The Agenda

Runnymede Trust

Tottenham Rights

 

 

Baroness Jenny Jones

David Lammy MP

Lord Strasburger

NameJob Title/Affiliation
Ian McGrath
Daniel Budden
Daniel McCarthy
Patrick Skelton Software Engineer
Dr. Samuel Frost
Kevin McCarthy
Stephen Mainwaring
Adrian Mitchell
Peter Wild
Maria
Toby
Mair Bain Animator
Cassandra
Craig Farlow Gas Engineer
John Connett Software Engineer (retired)
A COURTNEY RETIRED
Sonia Williams
eda seyhan
Prof. Douwe Korff Professor of International Law/London Metropolitan University
Paul Whitehouse Retired Police Officer
Wendy Grossman Journalist
Prof. John Crowfort Professor of Communications Systems/University of Cambridge
Cliff Bennett
Steve Malin
Keelin
Emily Apple
clive standley retired
N Watson
ConnectFutures Director
Tim None
Tim O CTO
Hayden Nicholas St John Dempster Concerned citizen
Graham Edge
Jamie
Omari Courier
Martin Pearson
Tim Edwards
Adam Douglass
Michael
Clive Halliday George Orwell acolyte
Benjamin Copywriter
Gareth
Dr Julian Huppert
Russell Cage
Jacob Houghton Student
Helen Unemployed
Archie Mellor Student
Alex Student
Evelyn Kinsella
Ryan
Paige Thompson
Jack Davies Student
George Sykes Actavist
Sarah benson
Phil Booth Coordinator, medConfidential / National coordinator NO2ID, 2004-11
Donna Seddon-Butland Therapist
Reece Pengilley Cleaning operative
Nick McGill
Cat Javor
Emyr Young Photographer
JAMES CORSCADDEN
Peter Bourne sole trader
Dawn Torabi
Sarah
David Lusby
Kevin Dowd Professor
Barry Ifa
Mike Shovelton Businessman
Paul McKinnon Chartered Engineer
David Hill
Zarayna Pradyer Miss
Adrian Bright
Andrew Spencer
Sharon Rochester
Michael Hussey
Jonathan Jones IT Security Officer
Piotr Kubiak
Ian Hope.
Brigid Kennedy
David Roberts
Anna L. Davis Edit10for
chris burke cbur1966@gmail.com
Erika Byrom retired
K Trogal
Kathryn Moss
Mark Haskell Cooper Mr
Richard Retired
Dave P.
Jiles Halling
Peter Gunn Retired
Mornay Accountant
Jan boyd Retired
Miss Burkhill
David Etchells
Gaynor Avery Security Consultant
J Alder
Sheila jacklin
Luke Watkeys
Minh Alexander None
Sara P Nurse
Graeme Kemp
Shaun Walton
CB
Nikita Nazarkov
Michael Joseph Senior Artworker
B. Bell Retired
David Cook Retired
Nick Jones
Martin Cain FPPG Chair
John Tanburn
Jack Chester
Dr G S Mead Retired
Mags F
Linda Lauderdale Retired Local Government Officer
david gregg retired professor
G.P. Joyce Mr.
Honor Maughan Mrs.
Llewelyn LaVista
Jonas Golland Musician/Tiger Lillies
Joanna
Ian Taylor Director, Alliance of British Drivers
Mark Forster
Zepher Ashe
Stuart Hartill
Peter Davies
D. Gittins
marja
Richard Maj Carer Support Worker
Alex Haydock Legal Officer, Open Rights Group
Tom Stott
Theresa Sives Seeker of Justice
David Foster
David Allinson
Phil Branigan programmer
A Arden Retired
KAYODE ODUMOSU LEGAL PRACTITIONER
Jane Scott Green Party
Paul Young
Nick Walker
Ronnie Gook
m robinson
L Davies
Tom Baker

 

SIGN HERE to express your support for the FaceOff campaign: 

 

If you’ve been affected by automated facial recognition let us know by sending an email to info@bigbrotherwatch.org.uk.

 

Automated Facial Recognition: Introduction

 

What is automated facial recognition?

Is a relatively new technology, in which facial recognition-linked cameras scan crowds and public spaces in attempt to identify people in real-time, by matching faces against a database. The face of each and every person passing by an automated facial recognition camera will be scanned and analysed, effectively subjecting everyone within view to a covert biometric identity check.

How have police been using automated facial recognition?

Leicestershire Police, the Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police have used the technology at public events. Police have used automated facial recognition to identify and monitor petty criminals, individuals with mental health issues and peaceful protesters.

How does automated facial recognition affect our rights and freedoms?

Facial recognition cameras are biometric checkpoints – much like DNA or fingerprint checkpoints. They biometrically assess the identities of passers-by, turning us into walking ID cards. Although the use of the technology with CCTV poses a serious threat to the right to individual privacy and freedom of expression, the police are currently using facial recognition without any legal basis or parliamentary scrutiny. There is also a risk that the technology could have discriminatory impact. Multiple studies have found that facial recognition technology inherits racial and gender biases that disproportionately misidentify people of colour and women.

Our report reveals that UK police’s facial recognition ‘matches’ are almost entirely inaccurate, and some people are being stopped and asked to produce their ID to prove their innocence. Police have stored images of thousands of innocent people wrongly identified by the technology, creating a biometric database of innocent people – without their knowledge.

Why is the retention of innocent people’s images an issue?

When someone is arrested and taken into custody the police the police will take photographs of a suspect’s face. However, unlike fingerprints and DNA an individual’s custody image is not automatically deleted – it can be shared among police forces and used for biometric databases.

Being arrested does not make you guilty of a crime.

If you want to know more about the retention of innocent people’s custody images click here.

 

Automated facial recognition: the facts

 

The police’s facial recognition tools wrongly identify innocent people up to 98% of the time

Using a series of Freedom of Information requests Big Brother Watch uncovered the full extent of automated facial recognition by UK police forces.

 

Our investigation reveals:

  • South Wales Police store photos of all innocent people incorrectly matched by facial recognition for a year, without their knowledge, resulting in a biometric database of over 2,400 innocent people
  • Home Office spent £2.6m funding South Wales Police’s use of the technology, although it is “almost entirely inaccurate”
  • Metropolitan Police’s facial recognition matches are 98% inaccurate, misidentifying 95 people at last year’s Notting Hill Carnival as criminals – yet the force is planning 7 more deployments this year
  • South Wales Police’s matches are 91% inaccurate – yet the force plans to target the Biggest Weekend and a Rolling Stones concert next

Breakdown of Automated Facial Recognition identifications and misidentifications

 

List of events and dates on which AFR was used by South Wales Police

EventDateTrue-positivesFalse-positives
UEFA Champions League Final WeekW/c 29/05/20171732,297
Elvis Festival23/09/2017 – 24/09/2017107
Operation Fulcrum (Day of Action)19/10/2017510
Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev (Boxing)28/10/2017546
Wales v Australia Rugby11/11/2017642
Wales v Georgia Rugby18/11/201712
Wales v New Zealand Rugby25/11/201739
Wales v South Africa Rugby02/12/2017518
Kasabian Concert (Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff)04/12/201743
Liam Gallagher Concert (Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff)13/12/201760
Operation Fulcrum (Day of Action)22/12/201785
Operation Malecite (Festive Deployment)23/12/201720
Royal Visit (Prince Harry)18/01/201800
Wales v Scotland Rugby03/02/201867
Stereophonics08/03/201805
Wales v Italy Rugby11/03/2018019
Wales v France Rugby (Cardiff City Centre)17/03/201867
Arms Fair Demonstration (Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff)27/03/201810
Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker (Boxing)31/03/2018??

 

List of events and dates on which AFR was used by the Metropolitan Police

 

EventDateTrue-positivesFalse-positives
Notting Hill Carnival 201628/08/2016 29/08/20160?
Notting Hill Carnival 201726/08/2017 27/08/2017195
Remembrance Day 201711/11/201716

 

Freedom of Information: Responses

You can have a look at all responses we received from Leicestershire Police, the Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and other forces around the country here.

 

Our Report

In addition to these findings, our new report “Face Off: the lawless growth of facial recognition in UK policing” gives the full results of our investigation, an analysis of the legal and human rights implications, and includes guest contributions from allies worldwide warning about the impact of facial recognition including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Georgetown Law, and the Race Equality Foundation.

Download the report here

Media Coverage