Observer – Home Office officials chalked up secret plans to expand facial recognition use in shops

Big Brother Watch Team / July 30, 2023

Minutes of a meeting among policing minister, Chris Philp, Home Office Officials and the private surveillance firm Facewatch shows that the Home Office secretly planned to influence the UK’s *independent* privacy regulator after discussing expanding facial recognition use in shops.

Mark Johnson, advocacy manager of Big Brother Watch said: “The Home Office must urgently answer questions about this meeting, which appears to have led officials to lean on the ICO in order to favour a firm that sells highly invasive facial recognition technology.

“Government ministers should strive to protect human rights, not cosy up to private companies whose products pose serious threats to civil liberties in the UK.”

This technology has been repeatedly criticised with the latest blow coming from the European Union which called for a ban on facial recognition use in public spaces through the upcoming artificial intelligence act.

Observer – Home Office secretly backs facial recognition technology to curb shoplifting

Evening Standard – Home Office has ‘questions to answer’ over facial recognition stance