Report reveals majority of UK public supports police use of biometric data

28/03/2024 | The Alan Turing Institute

new report from the Alan Turing Institute's Centre for Emerging Technology and Security (CETaS) studies the future of biometric technology for UK law enforcement and policing. The report highlights the need for updated regulatory measures to support the responsible use and restrictions of such systems in the interest of public safety. Furthermore, the report indicates that in the next 5-10 years, the availability of biometric systems and data will expand significantly, moving beyond the prevailing purposes of identifying individuals. 

While most of the UK public (60%) is comfortable with the benefits biometrics could provide to identify criminal suspects in a crowd, this figure fell to 29%, where biometric data is used to determine if someone is telling the truth. Still, more than half (53%) of respondents believe that the benefits of biometrics outweigh the concerns, compared with 24% who thought the concerns outweigh the benefits. Respondents are also more likely to trust the use of biometric systems by public sector organisations, such as the police force (79%) and the NHS (66%), as opposed to private companies (42%) and retailers (38%)

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Facial recognition, biometrics

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