On 3 July 2019 the independent evaluation of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) live facial recognition trials was published. The authors, from the University of Essex Human Rights Centre, identified significant flaws in MPS procedures, practices and human rights compliance, and the report says that it is “highly possible” that its use to date would be held unlawful if challenged in court. Will the MPS now cease all deployment of live facial recognition technology until both a national legal framework is in place and the five ethical conditions from the London Policing Ethics Panel are met?
The Met’s trial use of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) has come to an end. The Met took legal advice throughout the trial period and maintains that it had a legal basis for the use of LFR during the trial.
In its recent report, the London Policing Ethics Panel concluded that there is a need for the police to build and maintain the public’s trust in their use of new technologies and sets out recommendations and conditions to help achieve this and that MOPAC and the MPS should lobby Government to strengthen regulation of new technology. We will continue to work closely with the Met and ensure the panel’s recommendations are addressed before further deployment.