The now privately-owned King’s Cross area has been found to be using facial recognition and other analytics with its extensive CCTV surveillance.
The estate confirmed such analytics are in use but refused to give any further information. Big Brother Watch and the ICO have raised concerns about the legality of such surveillance.
Director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo, said:
This is the worst case scenario for privacy. Huge areas of our capital have been sold off, privately policed, and are now being covered with Chinese-style surveillance.
Private companies are asserting the right to monitor and secretly conduct identity checks on tens of thousands of us. What happens with our data is anyone’s guess.
Using facial recognition cameras is the high-tech equivalent of forcing members of the public to give their fingerprints to a private company we don’t even know the name of. This is a privacy emergency. No other democratic country has such intrusive surveillance on the scale of Britain, whether by the state or private companies. Our politicians must follow in the footsteps of legislators in the US and urgently ban this authoritarian surveillance from public spaces.
We also called for a national review of surveillance cameras in the UK.
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