Discussion Series: Live Facial Recognition

Discussion Series: Live Facial Recognition
March 5, 2020 HRBDT

In July 2019 researchers from the Human Rights Big Data and Technology Project published the first independently-funded academic report into the use of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology by a UK police force.

In these nine films Clare Garvie (Georgetown University Law Centre), Prof Pete Fussey (University of Essex) and Dr Daragh Murray (University of Essex) discuss some key issues such relating to LFR. Do we need facial recognition? How does facial recognition compare to CCTV? What are the human rights implications? What is a watch list?  And will facial recognition amplify existing biases?

Do we need it?

Police use of Live Facial Recognition is here, but do we really need it? Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray discuss the importance of consent, the ‘necessity test’ and whether the end can justify the means.

Isn’t it just ‘CCTV plus’?

Is it correct to compare Facial Recognition to CCTV? What are the differences? Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray, authors of the independent report into the Metropolitan Police Service trials of Live Facial Recognition, look at the specifics of facial recognition, the implications of collecting data on large groups of people in public places and concerns over how the technology might be used in the future.

What are the human rights considerations?

Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray, authors of the independent report into the Metropolitan Police Service trials of Live Facial Recognition, ask what the human rights considerations are in relation to facial recognition. What are the competing interests? Is the interference with the right to privacy legitimate, or an unlawful violation? And what is the chilling effect?

Will advances in technology solve the problems?

Clare Garvie, from Georgetown Law, looks at whether improvements in face recognition technology will solve the problems.

What is a watchlist?

Professor Pete Fussey, co-author of the independent report into the Metropolitan Police Service trials of Live Facial Recognition, explains what information is contained in a watchlist and the current regulation in this area.

What problems are there with watchlists?

Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray, authors of the independent report into the Metropolitan Police Service trials of Live Facial Recognition, look at issues around watchlists – why am I being included? Is this a proportionate response? What does ‘wanted mean’?

Is the technology biased?

Clare Garvie, from Georgetown Law, looks at recent research on how facial recognition technology performs in relation to people of different age, gender and ethnicity. Will facial recognition amplify existing biases?

Facial Recognition –Where now for the UK?

Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray, authors of the independent report into the Metropolitan Police Service trials of Live Facial Recognition, look at current oversight in the UK and what is required moving forward.

Facial Recognition – Where now for the USA?

Clare Garvie, from Georgetown Law, discusses the current use of facial recognition by US law enforcement agencies. Can these problems be overcome? Is a moratorium necessary?