UK’s GDPR replacement could wipe out oversight of live facial recognition

Biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner Professor Fraser Sampson has warned that independent oversight of facial recognition is at risk just as the policing minister plans to “embed” it into the force.

He said this week that the widely slated use of facial recognition at the recent crowning of Charles III was “a glimpse into the future of policing,” but noted that new data protection measures being looked at in Parliament could scrap both his role and the rules governing the use of public space surveillance systems by police and local authorities.

Sampson’s job, if you were wondering, is to encourage “compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice” – the only legal instrument that addresses police use of live facial recognition directly. His office is independent of the government.

Speaking to The Reg, he said: “All the indications are that it’ll go through as currently drafted.”

The warning lands a day after Sampson, a solicitor specializing in policing law, wrote to the committee overseeing the second take on the bill [PDF] the government hopes will replace the UK’s implementation of GDPR.

With UK policing minister Chris Philp planning “to embed facial recognition technology in policing and … considering what more the government can do to support the police on this,” it becomes all the more pressing, as Sampson described in a post yesterday.

Sampson doesn’t appear to be against the deployment of the tech in principle, saying he is “convinced that modern facial recognition, and other

Read more

Explore the site

More from the blog

Latest News