Reports  |  ,   |  February 15, 2019

Ethical issues arising from the police use of live facial recognition technology

Interim report of the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group Facial Recognition Working Group. 6 pages.


This briefing document outlines some of the ethical issues raised by the use of live (real-time) face recognition technology for policing purposes. It focuses on the use of this technology in relatively ‘controlled’ environments; namely public spaces where people are gathered and relatively static (for example, concert venues, sports stadiums, public rallies) and those with clearly defined entry and exit points or where people are ‘channelled’ past the cameras (for example, [approaches to] railway stations, airports, shopping centres, political marches or demonstrations).

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group (BFEG) commissioned this report in response to the recent field trials of live facial recognition (LFR) undertaken by South Wales Police (SWP)1 and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). This report outlines a framework of ethical principles that should be taken into consideration when developing policy on the use of LFR technology for policing purposes. [ . . . ]