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Facial recognition

In the UK, facial recognition technology is developing quickly. Do our laws remain current?

In the UK, facial recognition technology is being tested and used more frequently. According to reports, CCTV cameras in London and Manchester are already utilising real-time facial recognition. Additionally, hundreds of UK stores are using facial recognition technology.

Additionally, according to reports, UK police are employing a facial recognition system that enables them to recognise members of the public from online photos. Some police states and non-democratic nations have a bad reputation for using facial recognition technologies. The Chinese police have used it to track down Uighur minority members in Xinjiang and identify anti-Beijing protestors in Hong Kong.

There are significant concerns over the legal ramifications of scanning, storing, and sharing facial photographs as this technology becomes more widespread in the UK and other democratic nations. Retaliate against false information. Technology use by government agencies The use of face recognition technology by police departments and immigration officials is permitted by law and thus is open to public review through parliamentary procedures (for instance, in the lines at airports for travellers with electronic passports).


Facial recognition

A parliamentary committee is presently reviewing the government’s proposed identity matching services rules, which is a good start because it will address worries about data sharing and the potential for people to be wrongly identified. Why there is so much concern about the government’s projected facial recognition database In fact, the absence of regulations in this area has prompted UK Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow to raise concerns. The exploitation of facial recognition in high stakes fields like policing or law enforcement is currently not prevented by strong and obvious enough legal safeguards.

The possibility that personal data may be exchanged between public and commercial organisations, including banks and retail establishments, is another specific worry with the legislation. How private businesses operate Then there is the private sector’s adoption of facial recognition technology by businesses like banks and gas stations. Determine whether the technology is being used on public or private property in this case. As long as they don’t infringe the law, a private landowner is free to take any measures necessary to safeguard themselves, their property, and their residents (for example, by unlawful restraint or a discriminatory practice).

This would permit the installation of facial recognition cameras and their monitoring of employees and guests. On the other hand, any choice to use such tools on public property must go via a more open decision-making process (such as a council meeting), where the public is given the chance to comment.


AI Facial recognition

The AI facial recognition system is being used by UK police without any oversight. This isn’t the case, though, for many “public” buildings that are privately owned or operated (including sports fields, schools, universities, retail malls, and hospitals). As a result, they can be securely protected in private with the aid of guards watching CCTV cameras and other devices.

These private operators have access to more surveillance tools than only facial recognition. Others include iris and retina scanners, GIS profiling, internet data-mining (which includes “predictive analytics,” or creating a customer database based on online behaviours), and “neuromarketing,” which involves using surveillance tools to record a customer’s characteristics while they make a purchase.

And there’s more. The private sector can retain and access enormous amounts of client data, including every purchase we make and the price we paid, thanks to our technological prowess. Furthermore, the major political parties have amassed significant private databanks on household composition and potential voting preferences.

Is it any wonder that we have begun to feel a little uneasy about the extent to which surveillance and data retention tools have infiltrated our lives? A free society cannot be compatible with widespread facial recognition. what is currently permitted by law, The legislation in this field is recent and is having a hard time adjusting to the speed of change. One thing is certain: in the absence of illicit activity, the law does not forbid even extremely intrusive levels of private sector surveillance on private property.

facial recognition iStock

Facial recognition CCTV

Posing specific queries is the most effective method to review the relevant legal concepts, such as: Is it acceptable for customers to be photographed and scanned as they enter stores? The answer is true in cases when signage have been used to alert visitors about the usage of cameras and scanners. The terms of entrance are impliedly accepted by continuing to be on the property.

Do people who don’t want their pictures taken have any options? No. People who might be offended by the conspicuous placement of a surveillance device on a door, ceiling, or wall are not adequately protected by the law. Anyone concerned about this should leave the area immediately or avoid entering at all.

How about exchanging pictures? Can private operators treat them whatever they please? No. The “privacy principles,” which set forth the rights and responsibilities related to the acquisition, use, and exchange of personal information, place restrictions on the sharing of electronic data. By amending the Commonwealth Privacy Act of 1988, these were made available to the private sector in 2001.

Facial CCTV

Facial recognition Security installation

The sharing of photos would be prohibited by these privacy rules unless, for instance, a retailer was asked by the authorities to turn over the images for an inquiry. Can private companies lawfully keep a copy of your image on Hikvision and Dahua?

Yes, businesses, whether private or public, are allowed to store in their own databases photos of persons taken with their cameras. Under the “privacy principles,” a person has the right to request disclosure of the photograph (i.e., confirmation that it is held by the store and access to it). However, since it’s unlikely that they would even be aware that it existed, few individuals would bother.

However, the privacy standards do require the company to take reasonable measures to delete the information or image (or make sure it has been de-identified) once it is no longer required. What if facial recognition software wasn’t accompanied by notices or other warnings? The law enables covert monitoring if there is a clear public interest in it (for instance, to guarantee that players in casino gaming rooms are not cheating, or to ensure public safety in congested pathways), and there is no proof of misuse or potential for it.

Facial recognition

Hikvision Facial recognition

However, unless there is a public interest, it is illegal to secretly videotape someone. Why it’s so difficult to control facial recognition technology, but also why it’s essential What awaits us in the future? It is up to our lawmakers to change any relevant laws. They have taken their time responding because it has been challenging to figure out what is needed.

It will be difficult to craft laws that strike the correct balance between upholding people’s rights to privacy and the needs of business organisations to protect their stock, clients, and employees. There are actions we can all take to protect our privacy in the interim. If you want to entirely shield your identity, avoid choosing a phone that turns on when you look at it and avoid getting a passport. Additionally, give certain businesses a wide berth and your comments if they wish to scan your face when you enter their premises.

A few major brands are used at for facial recognition cameras and these are the two that are dominating the industry Hikvision and Dahua.


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