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UK government delays publication of biometrics strategy

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement

UK government ministers have once again delayed the publication of a strategy for police use of facial recognition technology which means, according to a Sky News report, police will continue to use the technology without any legal guidance.

The chair of the science and technology committee, Norman Lamb MP, said that the now five-year delay was “intolerable” as watchdogs warn that the practice could potentially be illegal.

Earlier this year, a Home Office review found that police agencies used more than 19 million images and videos, otherwise known as custody images, of individuals they have arrested or questioned on the police national database.

This is despite a high court ruling in 2012 that made it unlawful for agencies to retain images of innocent people, police agencies continued to build up a massive database without implementing any of the controls or privacy measures relating to police DNA and fingerprint databases.

In August, the UK Biometrics Commissioner criticized the Home Office and police for failing to address key privacy issues relating to the use of facial recognition.

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