Facial recognition and private companies (1)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 29th August 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Siân Berry Siân Berry Green

On 17 June 2019, The Times ran an article titled "Ministers must act over ‘explosion’ of spy technology, says watchdog," in which the Surveillance Camera Commissioner criticised work by Greater Manchester Police that involved the use of facial recognition data captured by the owners of the city’s Trafford shopping centre on 18 million shoppers. Has the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) worked with any retailers or private sector organisations in this way either to monitor or plan to monitor Londoner's facial data outside the MPS's own trials?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

The MPS’s use of Live Facial Recognition technology was limited to the 10 trial deployments. This trial has now come to an end.

The MPS has not worked with any retailers or private sector organisations who use Live Facial Recognition, neither do we have any current plans to do so.

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.