London's police will be testing out live facial recognition technology on Christmas shoppers today and tomorrow. The Metropolitan Police Service said the test, which will cover areas in Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, is part of its ongoing trial of the technology. When people pass through the area covered by the cameras, their images are streamed directly to the police facial recognition system database. This database contains a watch list of offenders wanted by the police and courts for various offences. The system measures the structure of each face, including distance between eyes, nose, mouth and jaw, to create facial data.
San Francisco supervisors approved a ban on police using facial recognition technology, making it the first city in the U.S. with such a restriction. SAN FRANCISCO – A routine traffic stop goes dangerously awry when a police officer's body camera uses its built-in facial recognition software to misidentify a motorist as a convicted felon. At best, lawsuits are launched. That imaginary scenario is what some California lawmakers are trying to avoid by supporting Assembly Bill 1215, the Body Camera Accountability Act, which would ban the use of facial recognition software in police body cams – a national first if it passes a Senate vote this summer and is signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. State law enforcement officials here do not now employ the technology to scan those in the line of sight of officers.
Civil liberties group Big Brother Watch has launched a legal challenge against the use of automatic facial recognition technology by London's Metropolitan Police force. The privacy campaigners described the Met's "China-style" facial recognition system, which uses AI software to match people's faces to a criminal database, as "dangerously authoritarian." "Facial recognition is the latest Orwellian mass surveillance tool to be lawlessly rolled out by the state," Big Brother Watch writes on the campaign website. "These real-time facial recognition cameras are biometric checkpoints, identifying members of the public without their knowledge. Police have begun feeding secret watchlists to the cameras, containing not only criminals but suspects, protesters, football fans and innocent people with mental health problems."
San Francisco supervisors approved a ban on police using facial recognition technology, making it the first city in the U.S. with such a restriction. SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco supervisors voted Tuesday to ban the use of facial recognition software by police and other city departments, becoming the first U.S. city to outlaw a rapidly developing technology that has alarmed privacy and civil liberties advocates. The ban is part of broader legislation that requires city departments to establish use policies and obtain board approval for surveillance technology they want to purchase or are using at present. Several other local governments require departments to disclose and seek approval for surveillance technology. "This is really about saying: 'We can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state.' And part of that is building trust with the community based on good community information, not on Big Brother technology," said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who championed the legislation.
A legal challenge against the use of automatic facial recognition technology by police has been launched by a civil liberties group. Automatic Facial Recognition uses CCTV or surveillance cameras to record and compare facial characteristics with images on police databases. Lawyers for Big Brother Watch argue the use of AFR breaches the rights of individuals under the Human Rights Act. The Metropolitan Police says the technology will help keep London safe. The system is being piloted in London, with three other forces - Humberside, South Wales, and Leicestershire - also trialling the technology.