More than 65 British lawmakers from various political parties, along with 31 civil society organizations, have jointly called for an immediate halt to the use of real-time facial recognition technology in the United Kingdom.
Furthermore, the petition, which also included prominent figures like David Davis, Ed Davey, and Shami Chakrabarti, cited a wide range of objections, including concerns about human rights, potential discrimination, a lack of safeguards, and insufficient evidence for the technology’s legality and democratic mandate. This move comes in the context of a growing global debate over the use of facial recognition technology.
Live facial recognition is facing increasing scrutiny, with a potential continentwide ban in Europe through the upcoming AI Act and bans on law enforcement use in several U.S. jurisdictions.
Concerns about the accuracy of facial recognition technology have persisted, with studies showing higher rates of false positives for Asian and Black faces compared to whites. The petition follows a recent announcement by the U.K. Minister for Policing to make the national passport photo database available for facial recognition searches, raising further concerns about privacy and civil liberties.
This call for a halt to live facial recognition technology reflects the ongoing tension between technological advancements and civil liberties, highlighting the need for robust regulations and safeguards to protect individual rights and privacy in the digital age.