Evening Standard – MET police deploy Live Facial Recognition systems in Oxford Circus

Big Brother Watch Team / July 15, 2022

The Metropolitan Police Service recently trialled their ‘Live Facial Recognition’ systems in Oxford Circus, technology they say will act as a deterrent to crime and assist the police force in catching wanted criminals.

Scotland Yard recruited actors between 18 to 74 to be the primary test subjects by taking photographs, videos and selfies of themselves with a range of camera systems, which would act as the analysis data for the facial recognition systems. These photos included the wearing of face masks, and were taken both indoors and outdoors.

The scans conducted are analysed against a watch list, comprising of those suspected of grave violence, gun and knife crime, as well as the sexual exploitation of children and minors. Identified individuals will then be approached by police, questioned about their identity and arrested if there is confirmation they are indeed a wanted person.

Big Brother Watch alerted people on the day in Oxford Circus about the dangers of the facial recognition tool and its contribution to “oppressive and inaccurate” mass surveillance. Lawyers from Liberty raised concerns about the nature of these systems threatening our freedom to attend public spaces without being “watched, tracked or monitored”.

Police scan faces of shoppers in London in facial recognition trial.