Police: Biometrics

Home Office written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Strasburger Lord Strasburger Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 17 February (HL1336), why their response is inconsistent with the press release from the Metropolitan Police following the facial recognition deployments which (1) stated that the individual arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm was arrested "as part of the wider operation" and not "as a direct result of the facial recognition technology", (2) did not state that any individual was arrested for two counts of rape, and (3) did not state that anyone was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault.

Photo of Lord Strasburger Lord Strasburger Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the finding by the Scottish Parliament that there was "no justification" for Police Scotland to use facial recognition technology; and why police in London and South Wales continue to use live facial recognition surveillance.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

  1. The Written Answer (HL1336) is not inconsistent with the press release from the Metropolitan Police. It referred to the results from the trials, which finished last year, and not the recent deployments of live facial recognition technology.
  2. Those are matters for the Scottish Parliament, the Metropolitan Police Service and South Wales Police, which are all independent of the Government. The Government supports the police using new technologies like facial recognition to protect the public in accordance with the law.

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