Police have used facial recognition technology to arrest a man for the first time in the UK. The arrest was made May 31 but police didn't release many details, probably because the investigation is ongoing. South Wales Police have been trialling the technology, known as AFR (Automatic Facial Recognition), for the past 18 months. And UK police have been testing facial recognition technology for a while, raising privacy and security concerns among civil rights organisations and members of the public. At the end of May, law enforcement announced a partnership with the company NEC to test AFR during the Champions League finals week in Cardiff.
The Metropolitan police will start using live facial recognition, Britain's biggest force has announced. The decision to deploy the controversial technology, which has been dogged by privacy concerns and questions over its lawfulness, was immediately condemned by civil liberties groups, who described the move as "a breathtaking assault on our rights". But the Met said that after two years of trials, it was ready to use the cameras within a month. The force said it would deploy the technology overtly and only after consulting communities in which it is to be used. Nick Ephgrave, an assistant commissioner, said: "As a modern police force, I believe that we have a duty to use new technologies to keep people safe in London. Independent research has shown that the public support us in this regard."
At the end of each summer for the last 14 years, the small Welsh town of Porthcawl has been invaded. Every year its 16,000 population is swamped by up to 35,000 Elvis fans. Many people attending the yearly festival look the same: they slick back their hair, throw on oversized sunglasses and don white flares. At 2017's Elvis festival, impersonators were faced with something different. Police were trialling automated facial recognition technology to track down criminals.
Facial recognition technology used by the UK police is making thousands of mistakes - and now there could be legal repercussions. Civil liberties group, Big Brother Watch, has teamed up with Baroness Jenny Jones to ask the government and the Met to stop using the technology. They claim the use of facial recognition has proven to be'dangerously authoritarian', inaccurate and a breach if rights protecting privacy and freedom of expression. If their request is rejected, the group says it will take the case to court in what will be the first legal challenge of its kind. South Wales Police, London's Met and Leicestershire are all trialling automated facial recognition systems in public places to identify wanted criminals.
Police in Cardiff will use facial recognition to track the 170,000 football fans expected to descend on the city for the Champions League final. The Welsh capital is gearing up to host the biggest crowd it has ever welcomed for the June 3 match when Real Madrid will take on Juventus at the Millennium Stadium. South Wales Police has been given £177,000 ($230,000) to pilot the facial recognition technology, which will monitor people on pre-determined'watch lists' These watch lists may include dangerous wanted or missing persons. Facial recognition identifies people by analysing the shape of a person's face. Each face has approximately 80 unique nodal points which distinguishes one from another.