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Scottish MSPs to examine facial recognition

07/10/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing has launched a new inquiry into the use of facial recognition technology.

Lines on drawing of woman's face

It is the latest example of authorities placing the technology under scrutiny, coming two months after England’s Information Commissioner’s Office launched an investigation into how it had been used in the King’s Cross area.

The committee said that MSPs are keen to find out more about police use and future plans for the tool. It understands that Police Scotland is currently using retrospective facial recognition from recorded CCTV, matching faces against those on the Police National Database.

Speaking as the call for evidence was launched, the committee convenor John Finnie MSP said: “Facial recognition could be a useful tool for police in fighting crime and keeping communities safe.

“However, it should not be forgotten that this technology is invasive to citizens’ privacy. The human rights and legal implications of using facial recognition need to be understood.

“The sub-committee wants to be reassured that police services are striking the right balance when using this technology. We have a number of concerns we look forward to exploring further in the months ahead.”

Police use of facial recognition has been tested in a recent High Court case, while the UK Home Office has come out in support of forces running trials of the technology.

Image by teguhjatipras, CC0

 

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