Our recommendations to TfL and concerns about Facial Recognition championed by the GLA Oversight Committee

Big Brother Watch Team / November 16, 2017

In September our Chief Executive, Renate Samson, gave evidence to the Greater London Authority Oversight Committee at City Hall on the issue of data.

You can watch the session here https://www.london.gov.uk/gla-oversight-committee-2017-09-14

Renate raised our concerns about a number of points in relation to how the data of Londoner’s and visitors to London are used.  She made particular reference to the recent Transport for London (TfL) monitoring of travellers’ Wi-Fi on the London Underground (you can read more about that here) and about the use of Automatic Facial Recognition technology by the Metropolitan Police – an issue we have repeatedly raised in relation to Notting Hill Carnival and is in part the focus of our FaceOff Campaign.

We are pleased to see the GLA took on board our concerns and have raised them in a letter to the Mayor.  The letter which can be read here, makes specific reference to our calls for TfL to create permanent signage across all London Underground stations alerting travellers that their Wi-Fi is being tracked and how they can turn it off.

The Committee also call on the Mayor to push the Government to publish their long overdue Biometric Strategy.  The letter outlines the concerns about the Met’s use of Automatic Facial Recognition technology and raises critical points about this made by the Biometric Commissioner.

Big Brother Watch were grateful for the opportunity to air our concerns to the Committee, and are pleased that the issues were considered by the Committee to be of such importance that they have been brought to the attention of the Mayor of London.  We look forward to monitoring the ongoing progress of the Committee and the Mayor in relation to these data issues.