PRIVACY CAMPAIGN GROUP Big Brother Watch has lodged an official complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about the facial recognition "epidemic" in the UK.
This follows an investigation by the civil liberties group which found that the notoriously shonky technology is being used by major property developers, shopping centres, museums, conference centres and casinos across Blighty.
NEWS: We have today lodged an official complaint with the Information Commissioner about the epidemic of private facial recognition surveillance in the UK.— Big Brother Watch (@bbw1984) August 19, 2019
We long warned this would happen if they didn't intervene to stop the police's lawless use of this oppressive surveillance. pic.twitter.com/BzPN0knlcO
It revealed that Sheffield's Meadowhall, for example, used the technology in "secret" police trials last year, while Liverpool's World Museum scanned visitors during its exhibition 'China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors', in a move described by Big Brother Watch as "dark irony."
These findings come after it was last week revealed that facial recognition technology has rolled out across the whole 67-acre, 50-building King's Cross development site, where you'll find Google's headquarters for the UK, as well as the head office of its AI subsidiary DeepMind. The ICO has since confirmed that it will investigate whether the rollout is necessary and has a legal basis.
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch said: "There is an epidemic of facial recognition in the UK.
"The collusion between police and private companies in building these surveillance nets around popular spaces is deeply disturbing. Facial recognition is the perfect tool of oppression and the widespread use we've found indicates we're facing a privacy emergency.
"Parliament must follow in the footsteps of legislators in the US and urgently ban this authoritarian surveillance from public spaces."
Big Brother Watch last year launched a legal challenge against the Metropolitan Police's "dangerously authoritarian" facial recognition cameras, arguing that cops "don't have a lawful basis for using them". µ
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