London’s Met Police Commissioner Decries Biometrics Regulations After String of Murders

London's Met Police Commissioner Decries Biometrics Regulations After String of MurdersThe head of London’s Metropolitan Police Service is decrying the “complex regulatory system” in place over how law enforcement authorities in the UK can use facial recognition technology.

Speaking to The Guardian after a week that saw five murders over the course of six days in the city, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick said, “We are finding ourselves quite hamstrung by a quite complex regulatory system, a quite complex legal framework,” adding later, “I am very keen that the law keeps up with the technology and I don’t feel that we are working in a tremendously enabling environment at the moment.”

But Dick’s comments faced a rebuttal from Silkie Carlo, head of Big Brother Watch, a civil rights advocacy group that is pursuing legal action against the UK’s Home Office over its use of facial recognition in public surveillance. Speaking in turn to The Guardian, Carlo said suggested that there is actually a lack of regulatory and legal oversight concerning facial recognition technology, which “has left police dangerously unleashed rather than hamstrung.”

The Home Office, which oversees the Met Police together with the London Mayor’s Office, published an official Home Office Biometrics Strategy earlier this year. The report faced criticism from the country’s Biometrics Commissioner, who decried its lack of clarity about how law enforcement authorities plan to use facial recognition technology, and said it also lacked proposals concerning legislation and oversight.

Source: The Guardian

November 13, 2018 – by Alex Perala