Human rights compliance and live facial recognition trials

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

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Photo of Siân Berry Siân Berry Green

How was human rights compliance ensured by the Metropolitan Police Service through the live facial recognition trials process, and what consultations or assessments were done in this regard, and by whom?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

The MPS addressed the principles of Proportionality, Legality, Accountability and Necessity to ensure compliance with Human Rights Act 1998 legislation in the conduct of its trial of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) paying particular attention to Article 8: the right to respect for private and family life. The MPS also ensured there were safeguards in place to protect the privacy of those who were not subjects of the operation.

A Privacy Impact Assessment was written in 2016 prior to the first pilot. Following recommendations in the interim report of the London Policing Ethics Panel, the MPS Legal Mandate and Data Protection Impact Assessment for the use of Live Facial Recognition was published on the MPS Live Facial Recognition Trial website ( This mandate outlined the legal position of the MPS for the use and deployment of Live Facial Recognition technology as an overt policing tactic during the trials.