Big Brother Watch responds to Government facial recognition plans

Big Brother Watch Team / April 10, 2024

Commenting on new Government plans to expand the use of live facial recognition surveillance technology in the UK, Silkie Carlo, Director of civil liberties NGO Big Brother Watch said:

“Criminals should be brought to justice, but papering over the cracks of broken policing with Orwellian tech is not the solution. It is completely absurd to inflict mass surveillance on the general public under the premise of fighting theft whilst police are failing to even turn up to 40% of violent shoplifting incidents or to properly investigate many more serious crimes.

“Rather than resourcing police to actively pursue people who pose a risk to the public, the government’s investment in facial recognition cameras for retail offences relies on shoplifters walking in front of marked police cameras and as such will effectively target the lowest hanging fruit.

“It’s an abysmal waste of public money on a dangerously authoritarian and inaccurate technology that neither the public nor parliament has ever voted on. This will cost not only the public purse but the public’s privacy and civil liberties. Live facial recognition may be commonplace in China and Russia but these Government plans put the UK completely out of sync with the rest of the democratic world.

“This Orwellian tech has no place in Britain.”



You can read the Government’s press release here.

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