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UK officialdom have warm places in their hearts for live facial recognition

UK officialdom have warm places in their hearts for live facial recognition
 

Live facial recognition, the most contentious government implementation of AI surveillance, is looking attractive to law enforcement leaders in the United Kingdom.

The Metropolitan Police Service reportedly is increasing the deployment of live facial recognition system.

And according to the Scottish Daily Express, Police Scotland is considering trials of systems that would record and analyze the faces of people walking in public. The idea may be getting more credence as a disinterest in police work has pushed Scotland‘s cop numbers low. For now they are simply keeping tabs on trials elsewhere.

London’s Met police have experimented with the technology for a number of years already, and has gone live with them six times this year, according to ComputerWeekly.com.

The trade publication says biometric scans of almost 150,000 people have been collected by the Met recently leading to just eight arrests – a drug charge, failure to show up for court, a traffic infraction and one assault (of an emergency worker).

Both articles note that opposition to live face biometrics is stubborn among segments of the public. It is also worth noting that sentiment among elected officials and appointed agency heads has swung like a pendulum in the United Kingdom, as in the United States.

Deployment announcements have withered under public scrutiny, complex legalities and the concerns of some of the tech giants who write the algorithms. But then, laws banning use of facial recognition by government have been altered – sometimes significantly – by a new crop of, typically, conservative politicians.

Some have questioned if the proper tradeoff is being made for public safety with numbers like that.

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