PI and allies respond to College of Policing consultation, stating that live facial recognition tech can never be safely deployed in public places

Privacy InternationaI, Liberty, Defend Digital Me, Open Rights Group and Big Brother Watch submitted a response to the College of Policing's public consultation on the Police use of live facial recognition technology.

In the response, we make it clear that all the aforementioned organisations believe that LFRT poses significant and unmitigable risks to our society. 

Key advocacy points
  • The College of Policing consultation presupposes LFRT as lawful and ethical.
  • We believe that live facial recognition technology (LFRT) can never be safely deployed in public spaces. Whether in use by police or private companies, it should be prohibited entirely. 
  • If the police seek to use LFRT it must be introduced via primary legislation and subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • Reliance on common law ‘policing duties’ is unacceptable, this is not 'traditional CCTV'.
  • MPs in the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee called for police use of Live Facial Recognition Technology to be suspended until further legislative framework is applied to the technology.
  • We have seen in trials to date individuals having been stopped as a result of ‘suspicious behaviour’ such as covering their faces from the cameras. The College of Policing must make it clear that officers must not stop individuals simply because individuals want to protect their biometric identities.