Facial recognition cameras are eroding our civil liberties. We must stop them before it’s too late

Big Brother Watch Team / May 17, 2019

Director Silkie Carlo writes for TIME on Big Brother Watch’s challenge to police facial recognition and witnessing police fine a man after objecting to having his face scanned.

The U.K. is certainly adopting surveillance technologies in a style more typical of China than of the West.

For centuries, the U.K. and U.S. have entrenched protections for citizens from arbitrary state interference – we expect the state to identify itself to us, not us to them. We expect state agencies to show a warrant if our privacy is to be invaded. But with live facial recognition, these standards are being surreptitiously occluded under the banner of technological “innovation.”

That’s why the ban in Silicon Valley is so commendable. We’ve found ourselves at a turning point for civil liberties and technology – and in the U.K., we’re dangerously wavering on the precipice of a very different country.

To be frank, I have little hope that our police will make the right decision. But I have great faith that the public won’t tolerate such a loss of liberty. John showed us that. And that’s why we’ll fight police facial recognition.

Read the full piece on TIME.