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Met Facial Recognition Comes in for More Criticism

February 08, 2019 / Phil Muncaster

The Metropolitan Police force has been ‘trialing’ its controversial facial recognition cameras again and the latest deployment resulted in just one individual being charged. The capital’s police have been using these cameras for several years but FOI responses from several forces sent to rights group Big Brother Watch last year revealed the technology is 98-100% inaccurate. The latest two-day deployment in the Essex town of Romford last week resulted in the arrest of a 35-year-old on suspicion of breach of a molestation order, for which he subsequently received 11 weeks behind bars. The press release issued by the Met notes a handful of other arrests during the operation, although none of the individuals were charged and these arrests were not due to individuals being detected by the facial recognition software against a pre-defined list of suspects. In fact, the deployment caused controversy when one man tried to cover his face whilst passing a camera.