London’s Metropolitan Police gave images for King’s Cross facial recognition scans

Met Police gave images for King's Cross facial recognition scans

London’s Metropolitan Police Service has revealed that it supplied the images used in facial recognition scans carried out by the developers of the King’s Cross estate. London’s mayor has asked for a report to reveal exactly what data was shared with whom “as a matter of urgency”. The Surveillance Camera Commissioner is also making inquiries

The code requires there to be “as much transparency” as possible and a clear justification for the use of a facial recognition system. A spokesman for the Met said it had shared the images “to assist in the prevention of crime” under “a local agreement” made with the King’s Cross Estate partnership. “The MPS has not shared any images with the King’s Cross Estate, or any related company, for facial recognition purposes since March 2018,” he added. “This information sharing had occurred at a local level over a limited period and has only just come to light to the central team managing police imagery.

Met Police gave images for King's Cross facial recognition scans

“As a result all local chief superintendents have been communicated with to reinforce that there should be no local agreements or local use of live facial recognition.”

The latest development comes the same day that the High Court ruled that separate tests of automated facial recognition (AFR) technology by South Wales Police were lawful. The trials had been challenged by a man who had claimed his human rights had been breached when he was photographed while shopping. One critic of facial recognition technology said that there was now a need for a parliamentary inquiry. “We need to debate whether we want [automated facial recognition] and if we do, under what conditions and with what safeguards,” commented researcher Stephanie Hare. “The British public has not been given the opportunity to express its views on something that is so inaccurate, so invasive, and so threatens their privacy and civil liberties.

“It is out of control at present and what we have learned today is that the London Met has, at a minimum, not been able to provide correct information.”