No changes needed to legal framework for facial recognition, minister claims
Policing minister Malthouse says Brexit will not change legal standing
Credit: Teguhjati Pras from Pixabay
Policing minister Kit Malthouse has indicated that he sees no imminent changes needed to the legal framework for the police’s use of facial-recognition technology.
After a number of controversial trials, London’s Metropolitan Police Service announced recently that it would be putting the live facial recognition kit into operational use at various locations across the city.
The decision to do so comes following a High Court ruling in September that found that the use of LFR by South Wales Police was lawful.
In answer to a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Kevan Jones – who enquired about whether new laws would be needed after the UK leaves the European Union – Malthouse said that he believed the judges had “found that there is a clear and sufficient legal framework for police use of LFR in England and Wales”.
- Regulator calls for ‘informed public debate’ on facial recognition
- Damning report questions accuracy and lawfulness of Met Police facial recognition trials
- Scottish Parliament to examine use of facial recognition
“This framework, which includes the common law powers available to a constable for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime, Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018, the Human Rights Act and the Surveillance Camera Code, will not change as a result of the UK leaving the EU,” he added.
Malthouse’s comments appear somewhat contradictory to those made by the UK biometrics commissioner, Paul Wiles, who warned the Met that the High Court ruling had applied specifically to the circumstances in which South Wales Police had used the surveillance kit.
“The Metropolitan Police will need to pay attention to those circumstances to which the court drew attention,” he said. “It should also be noted that the South Wales decision is now being appealed and that the new government gave a manifesto commitment to provide a strict legal framework to govern the future police use of biometrics and artificial intelligence.”
Elsewhere in his answer, Malthouse sought to clarify the legal framework governing the use of facial-recognition kit by private sector entities.
“Private sector use of LFR is governed by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation,” he said. “These laws impose strict obligations on both controllers and processors who handle the images obtained via the use of live facial recognition technology.”
With the Online Safety Bill now published, former police superintendent Iain Donnelly writes for PublicTechnology on the challenges that need to be overcome in order to ensure the law’s...
Home secretary tells conference that complying with demands will only encourage criminals
Consultation commenced on efficacy of Computer Misuse Act
Concerns expressed after leak of messages between Boris Johnson and vacuum magnate Dyson
PublicTechnology talks to Salesforce about why police forces need to adopt new omnichannel capabilities, offer the public channel choice and the benefits of doing so
Higher Education institutions are some of the most consistently targeted organisations for cyberattacks. CrowdStrike explores the importance of the right cybersecurity measures.