The Guardian – Campaigners slam Met chief’s enthusiasm for facial recognition

Big Brother Watch Team / September 11, 2023

In a statement that sparked outrage amongst privacy campaigners, Sir Mark Rowley, the Met police commissioner said that facial recognition technology could transform policing much like DNA testing. He added: “The next step is more exciting: retroactively using facial recognition to identify unknown suspects from CCTV images is showing immense potential.”

Responding to Sir Rowley’s comments, the director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo said:

“It can absolutely be as intrusive as DNA, which is why it’s so concerning that the Met is using it to scan hundreds of thousands of innocent Londoners, often with dangerously inaccurate results.”

“Just as the emergence of DNA led to robust laws that balance and limit powers on its use in law enforcement and trials, we need a democratic, lawful approach to the role of facial biometrics in Britain, but so far there hasn’t even been a parliamentary debate on it.”

“We cannot have police making up the rules on such a powerful surveillance technology as they go along, nor monitoring the public with live facial recognition cameras which are at the most invasive, extreme end of the spectrum.”

The Guardian – Facial recognition could transform policing in same way as DNA, says Met chief