Facial recognition: case update

31 May 2019

Last week we went to court with our client Ed Bridges to challenge the use of facial recognition technology by South Wales Police.  

Liberty were making three main arguments against the use of this invasive and unregulated technology on our streets and we believe the counter-arguments from the South Wales Police were flawed in a number of ways.

In the three short videos below our lawyer Megan explains what they argued in court and why we believe them to be incorrect.

1. Our Right to Privacy – Facial recognition cameras invade the privacy of every person who walks past them as they unknowingly have their biometric data taken from them without consent.

2. Data Protection Laws – The Data Protection Act 2018 is based on principles which protect an individual’s personal data and has safeguards to regulate the ways in which that data can be used. We believe facial recognition does not comply with these principles or safeguards.

3. Equality Laws – As a public body the police have a duty to promote equality, yet it is widely know that this technology is discriminatory and is more likely to misidentify women and people of colour.

Therefore we continue to believe that this dangerous and deeply unfair technology has no place on our streets and we hope that the courts will agree.

We were also pleased to find out that the London Policing Ethics Board seems to have agreed with our view on the use of facial recognition technology. In a report released this week, they that found that facial recognition technology should not be deployed “at the expense of valued liberties”. 

Find out more about our campaign against facial recognition.