Facial recognition technology, which can identify individuals even when part of the face is hidden, is seen by some as a valuable tool for law enforcement. Critics, however, argue for its cessation due to concerns about unchecked use, lack of parliamentary approval, and potential data protection and human rights violations.
The Home Office insists that facial recognition use is strictly regulated and only used for legitimate policing purposes. They claim that AI-driven surveillance can help identify individuals wanted for serious crimes and find missing persons, improving police efficiency and community presence.
While the Home Office has safeguards, including the immediate deletion of unmatched data, controversies persist. The data regulator, the ICO, has warned about facial recognition use, and wrongful apprehensions have occurred during trials. Moreover, Cambridge University researchers have questioned the ethics and legality of facial recognition use by police.
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