Javid backs automated facial recognition trials

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has given his backing to the police in their trials of facial recognition cameras, despite the technology facing a legal challenge.

The surveillance software has been trialled by several forces, including the Metropolitan Police, at football matches, festivals and parades. It is designed to help spot suspects in public spaces. Javid has stated that it is important that police are able to make use of the latest tools to help them solve crimes.

The high-definition cameras detect faces and compare them with existing police photographs. Since trials began, the innovation has been heavily criticised by livil liberty campaigners, who not only claim that it infringes on rights, but also that the technology is currently too inaccurate, especially when identifying black and ethnic minority people. There is also no specific regulation governing how police use the software or manage the data gathered.

Javid said: “I back the police in looking at technology and trialling it and... different types of facial recognition technology is being trialled especially by the Met at the moment and I think it's right they look at that.”


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