An independent report published by the National Physical Laboratory, and commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Service and South Wales Police, identified that responsible use of live facial recognition technologies for law enforcement does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, age or race. The Met Police welcomed the report's findings, while South Wales Police confirmed it plans to resume using the technology.
In response, a statement from Big Brother Watch’s legal and policy officer, Madeleine Stone, said, "Live facial recognition is suspicionless mass surveillance that turns us into walking ID cards, subjecting innocent people to biometric police identity checks. This Orwellian technology may be used in China and Russia but has no place in British policing..." Commenting in The Guardian, Katy Watts, a lawyer at Liberty said, “This report tells us nothing new – we know that this technology violates our rights and threatens our liberties, and we are deeply concerned to see the Met police ramp up its use of live facial recognition. The expansion of mass surveillance tools has no place on the streets of a rights-respecting democracy.”
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