Police Use Facial Recognition Cameras at London Shopping Centre
Met police deploy live facial recognition technology at Stratford Centre Retail Complex in London.
03:23 15 February 2020
The Met police has recently deployed facial recognition cameras at Stratford Centre Retail Complex in London despite expert warning against them. The move followed an expert’s scathing assessment of the technology’s effectiveness.
Thousands of shoppers in East London are now being scanned by van-mounted cameras. The vans bear signages that say “live facial recognition [LFR]” in use, and that “there is no legal requirement for you to pass through the LFR system”.
According to Commander Mark McEwen, Met’s lead on crime prevention, Stratford Centre was chosen for the initial deployment of the technology because it had been the scene of “public space violence” and the community has asked police to deal with violence with whatever tactic they deem appropriate.
Siân Berry, the co-leader of the Green party, said: “The police have gone ahead and used [facial recognition] in defiance of some serious warnings that have been issued by people like the information commissioner, the surveillance camera commissioner and the biometric commissioner,”
Meanwhile, Silkie Carlo, the director of the privacy rights group Big Brother Watch (BBW), said: “If we let this slide, this is going to be the beginning of something much worse. If they are successful in rolling this out and the legal challenges don’t work we will see this on CCTV networks pretty soon.”