Should the police use facial recognition cameras?

24 January 2020, 15:44

Should the police use facial recognition cameras? This security consultant says those concerned about this technology being an infringement of privacy are "two decades too late."

The Metropolitan Police have announced they are introducing live facial recognition cameras in London to scan for suspects, which privacy campaigners have protested is a "threat to civil liberties."

However security consultant David told Shelagh that this roll out is merely "automating a very simple job."

"That's a job we'd rather not pay tens of tens of police officers to just sit there and do and this is something that can absolutely be automated," said David, "so to me that sounds like a win-win for a role all of us want which to have dangerous people caught as soon as possible."

The cameras will be in use for five or six hour periods and will be programmed to check for specific suspects in each area.

Police say the cameras identified 70% of suspects in a study
Police say the cameras identified 70% of suspects in a study. Picture: PA

He did counter that people are right to be concerned about the cameras' usages, "There does need to be robust auditing and robust checking that it's being used in the right way. So to me there's no question that this is inevitable that it's needed.

"It's the people that manage it and use it, like all technology, that will dictate whether it's used for good or evil."

For those who truly are concerned, he said,"Anyone that's worried about their privacy is probably a decade or two too late. The technology has existed way before to track your phone way before you chose to give that away." People who want to find your face and identity online already can, he said.

His answer is to embrace the technological development and consider it a good method for safety.