Facial recognition / Police surveillance technology / Policing

Liberty responds to plans for police to access passport database

Posted on 05 Oct 2023

Liberty has responded to proposals for police to be allowed to access a range of government databases in order to find matches with images from CCTV and other footage.

Responding to the proposals, Emmanuelle Andrews, Policy and Campaigns Manager, said: 

“Time and time again the Government has relied on the social issue of the day to push through increasingly authoritarian measures. And that’s just what we’re seeing here with these extremely worrying proposals to encourage the police to scan our faces as we go to buy a pint of milk and trawl through our personal information.

“By enabling the police to use private dashcam footage, as well as the immigration and asylum system, and passport database, the Government are turning our neighbours, loved ones, and public service officials into border guards and watchmen.

“We must all refuse the politics of division that gives a shortcut to widespread surveillance by the State and instead hold the government to account for its failure to tackle issues like the cost of living crisis.”

“Instead of ramping up the use of oppressive policing tools like facial recognition, the Government should ensure that families can pay their rent and feed their children. That starts with supporting people who are struggling to survive amid a cost-of-living crisis, an inadequate welfare system and rocketing food prices.”

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