Home Office and MoD seeking new facial-recognition tech

Home Office and MoD seeking new facial-recognition tech

computerweekly.com/news/256305074/Police-minister-wont-ensure-compliance-with-bias-laws-on-facial-recognition”>the police minister said he would not ensure “absolute compliance” with equality and human rights laws “in every case” when using facial-recognition technology.

This, as well as possible breaches of the UK’s Data Protection Act (DPA), have raised serious concerns over the risks posed to civil liberties and personal privacy with the increasing use of facial-recognition technology.

Biometrics technology has been gaining momentum in recent years. Governments and businesses are now increasingly looking to leverage facial recognition capabilities for policing and security purposes. In this regard, the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (Dasa) has launched a ‘market exploration’ of facial-recognition technologies to identify mature capabilities that can be deployed by the Home Office over the next 18 months.

The exercise will focus on live, retrospective and operator-initiated facial-recognition and will assess technologies that support algorithm development, integration and analytics capabilities. However, the exploration will be limited to facial recognition and exclude technologies such as iris and gait detection, behavioural analytics or age estimation.

The exploration exercise will not provide any funding or support but is intended to gain a better understanding of the current technologies related to facial recognition that could be used to improve the capabilities available to policing and security organisations in the UK. Despite the government’s optimistic outlook towards the technology, ensuring the ethical use of facial recognition remains a challenge due to concerns over the respect of individual rights and privacy.

Under this, public bodies have been calling for increased regulation on the use of advanced algorithmic technologies such as facial recognition by the police. This includes multiple call for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition, as well as implementing robust governance frameworks, data protection protocols, and increased transparency and accountability.

The Home Office and Dasa remain committed to striking the right balance between public safety and individual privacy rights, whilst ensuring the use of facial-recognition technologies are explainable, accountable, effective and good value for money. The deadline for submissions is 12 October 2023