Police: Biometrics

Home Office written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Labour, Tottenham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential for bias against people on the basis of (a) gender and (b) ethnicity of the automated facial recognition software used by the (i) Metropolitan Police and (ii) South Wales Police.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

Facial recognition software for which the Home Office has reviewed Privacy Impact Assessments compares images of members of the public captured by surveillance cameras with images of persons on a watch list.

If there is a match this is reported to a police operator who will confirm its accuracy before any action is taken. People are not arrested solely on the basis of matches made by facial recognition software. The Government is exploring the expansion of oversight of facial recognition systems.

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