Facial recognition / Police surveillance technology

Liberty responds to release of research into Facial Recognition technology

Posted on 05 Apr 2023

Responding to today’s report on facial recognition technology, Katy Watts, lawyer at Liberty, said:

“We should all be able to live our lives without the threat of being watched, tracked and monitored by the police. Facial recognition technology is a discriminatory and oppressive surveillance tool that completely undermines this basic right.

“This report tells us nothing new – we know that this technology violates our rights and threatens our liberties, and we are deeply concerned to see the Met Police ramp up its use of live facial recognition. The expansion of mass surveillance tools has no place on the streets of a rights-respecting democracy.

“Facial recognition doesn’t make people safer, it entrenches patterns of discrimination and sows division. History shows us that surveillance technology will always be disproportionately used on communities of colour and, at a time when racism in UK policing has rightly been highlighted, it is unjustifiable to use a technology that will make this even worse.

“This Government is intent on wrecking privacy rights and monitoring us as well as ripping up existing protections. It’s impossible to regulate for the dangers created by a technology that is oppressive by design. The safest, and only, thing to do with facial recognition is ban it.”

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