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Sajid Javid backs facial recognition tech, as privacy campaigners launch legal action

Sajid Javid backs facial recognition tech, as privacy campaigners launch legal action
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has welcomed police trials of facial recognition cameras, insisting forces must “be on top of the latest technology,” as campaigners fearing possible privacy violations launch legal action.

Speaking at the launch of new online technology to help police in their fight against child abuse, Javid insisted that “we must move at the same pace” as “vile predators” who are adapting their tactics to avoid getting caught.

I back the police in looking at technology and trialling it and... different types of facial recognition technology... I think it’s right they look at that.

The surveillance software is being trialled by a number of forces including Scotland Yard in London and South Wales where legal action is being initiated.

The action is being brought by Ed Bridges, 36, from Cardiff and is backed by Liberty, a leading civil rights group. The group claims his picture may have been captured unlawfully on facial recognition cameras by police while Christmas shopping in Cardiff.

Also on rt.com £200k on facial recognition and zero arrests: UK police slammed for wasting public money

Liberty claims this violated his privacy and data protection rights by processing an image of him snapped in public. Bridges maintains that it caused him “distress.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the London Metropolitan Police spent over £200,000 on facial recognition trials that yielded zero results, prompting questions about wasting public money to no benefit.

According to the results of a Freedom of Information request by the Independent, police trials carried out between August 2016 and July 2018 saw 110 people’s faces registered as potential ‘alerts’, which resulted in six police deployments in which only two people were stopped – and then released.

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