Right now, the Metropolitan Police is deciding whether to roll out live facial recognition PERMANENTLY on our streets.
Police claim the public supports facial recognition surveillance – we think they’re wrong.
Don’t miss your chance to tell the police what YOU think – contact the police using the details below. We’ve provided an example to get you started.
To: Comm.PO@met.police.uk (Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick).
Cc (Optional): email@example.com (London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime)
Cc (Optional): [Insert your MP’s email address – find their email here].
Subject: The Metropolitan Police’s use of live facial recognition
Dear Commissioner Dick,
I am aware that the Metropolitan Police has used live facial recognition a number of times over the last three years as part of a supposed ‘trial’, and is now considering whether to continue to use this authoritarian technology.
I appreciate that you have a legitimate interest in trialling new technologies, but the use of this technology for public surveillance is dangerous and undemocratic.
The use of facial recognition for general surveillance of public places has absolutely no place in a democracy, and never will.
I would like to state my opposition to the Metropolitan Police’s use of live facial recognition for the following reasons:
Police live facial recognition surveillance is authoritarian and oppressive, scanning innocent people’s faces like fingerprints, carrying out an intrusive identity check without their consent. This has resulted in people being unlawfully stopped and searched just for covering their faces near police cameras.
The police have used live facial recognition surveillance to target and monitor vulnerable and marginalised groups, including innocent people with mental health problems, as well as disproportionately monitoring ethnic minorities. This will always be a risk with such authoritarian surveillance technology.
Police live facial recognition surveillance is a disproportionate intrusion of people’s privacy, checking thousands of innocent people’s identities indiscriminately in the hope of finding just a few people on a police ‘watchlist’. The proportions of such mass surveillance are not fitting of a democratic nation. Furthermore, there is little to no transparency of who is on police ‘watchlists’, and I am concerned to hear that already innocent people have been put on these watchlists.
Police live facial recognition surveillance has a chilling effect on people’s right to protest, to freely express their views and associate with each other. Activists, campaigners, politicians considered ‘domestic extremists’, or whistleblowers may be deterred from going to areas where live facial recognition is being used to avoid being subjected to an identity check.
There is no legal basis for the use of this authoritarian and intrusive technology, in contravention of the rule of law and the Human Rights Act.
The police’s live facial recognition is also hopelessly inaccurate, misidentifying people up to 98% of the time – according to the police’s own statistics.
The police’s use of live facial recognition has been wholly without my and others’ consent, and it is likely unlawful.
I want to live in a free country where my rights are protected – not a Big Brother state. On that basis, I request that you do not allow the Metropolitan Police to continue to use live facial recognition.
[Insert your name here]