THE USE OF "highly intrusive" facial recognition tech should be suspended until concerns over its effectiveness and potential bias have been resolved, a group of MPs has warned.
In a report published on Wednesday, the House of Commons Science and Technology committee laid into the controversial tech, which the Met Police and South Wales Police have already trialled at numerous public events, including the Champions League Final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and the Notting Hill Carnival in London.
The report warns that the 'regulatory lacuna' surrounding the use of automatic facial recognition has called the legal basis of the trials into question, adding that "no further trials should take place until a legislative framework has been introduced and guidance on trial protocols, and an oversight and evaluation system, has been established."
"The UK government should learn from the Scottish government's approach to biometrics and commission an independent review of options for the use and retention of biometric data that is not currently covered by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012," the report notes.
"This process should culminate in legislation being brought forward that seeks to govern current and future biometric technologies."
The report also warned that cops were failing to edit a database of custody images to remove pictures of unconvicted individuals, noting that forces have failed to make good on a promise to introduce IT systems that would have facilitated automatic deletion.
"Such improvements now appear to have been delayed indefinitely", the MPs fumed. "As such, the burden remains on individuals to know that they have the right to request deletion of their image."
The Information Commissioner's Office recent raised similar concerns, warning that "there are potentially thousands of custody images being held with no clear basis in law or justification for the ongoing retention."
The release of the scathing report comes just days after Home Secretary Sajid Javid gave his backing to Met Police trials, arguing that it was important that police made use of the technology to help them solve crimes, despite the fact that 81 per cent of the time, it's wrong every time. µ
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