‘The US already has comprehensive rules on facial recognition – it is time for Britain to follow suit’

On December 18, the UK’s Home Office released its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Regulator’s draft rules to block demand from facial recognition companies for criminal records. The privacy forces and scientists began sounding…

'The US already has comprehensive rules on facial recognition - it is time for Britain to follow suit'

On December 18, the UK’s Home Office released its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Regulator’s draft rules to block demand from facial recognition companies for criminal records. The privacy forces and scientists began sounding the alarm after this announcement.

The new rules bring the UK’s system in line with many other countries, including the United States. However, there are several big gaps, including the time periods of surveillance and the information requested. In the UK, the mandated time period is 6 months and the information required is not limited to criminal records – even if a facial recognition technology automates the process of obtaining criminal records by replacing a paper record. The rule will not allow companies to automatically store and verify personal information about facial recognition systems and consumer data.

The author also considers the possible surveillance risks associated with facial recognition technology. FaceTran adds automatic ability to recognise faces to a range of other consumer services, from airports to electronic devices, and large companies can have a powerful impact on poor communities. With the enforcement of the Home Office’s draft rules, police will be able to conduct facial recognition trials all over the world in different settings.

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