Discriminatory facial recognition technology is being used on our streets and in public places like shopping centres and train stations. It’s time to ban it.
Facial recognition cameras scan every adult and child within range to make biometric maps of their faces – more like fingerprints than photographs. These are then compared to images on secretive watchlists.
Watchlist images can be of anyone and come from anywhere, including social media. Police have used facial recognition to track people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.
At least one police force has plans to start using the tech on officers’ mobile phones, making it easier for them to scan us on the move.
The tech has also been used by private companies in busy shopping centres and transport hubs, scanning thousands of people every day.
The use of facial recognition technology by police on our streets and by private companies in publicly-accessible places must be banned. Sign the petition.
FACIAL RECOGNITION VIOLATES EVERYONE’S PRIVACY
Thousands of people are scanned every time the tech is used in public – their biometric data snatched without consent and often without their knowledge.
This hugely disproportionate surveillance clearly breaches our right to privacy.
FACIAL RECOGNITION MAKES US CHANGE OUR BEHAVIOUR
People behave differently when they know they are being watched, altering where they go, who they go with and what they do. We shouldn’t have to change how we live our lives to protect ourselves from unwarranted police surveillance.
FACIAL RECOGNITION IS DISCRIMINATORY
This technology discriminates against people of colour and women, meaning they are more likely to be misidentified and stopped by the police. And police have often chosen to use it in locations with predominantly black, Asian and minority ethnic or working class populations, embedding discriminatory approaches to policing.
FACIAL RECOGNITION HAS NO PLACE ON OUR STREETS
MPs from all parties have urged the police to suspend facial recognition deployments.
While there have been calls to create law governing its use, this will not solve the human rights concerns or the tech’s in-built discrimination.
Police forces have used live facial recognition technology in public since 2016. We’ve taken South Wales Police to court, and an independent report has condemned the Metropolitan Police’s use of the tech, saying it failed to protect human rights.
The US city of San Francisco has banned use of this dangerous tech for policing and security purposes. Two other US cities have done the same.
We must follow their lead in the UK.