UK Plans Facial Recognition Expansion, Empowering Cops To Scan Faces in the Street

In the UK, the government has presented its plans for a large-scale increase of the use of facial recognition technology which the police want to deploy in a number of ways and across a range of locations.

According to Big Brother Watch, taxpayers in that country will foot the bill amounting to a total of £230 million (some $288 million). In return for financing this expansion of what the rights group calls Orwellian tech, citizens will be subjected to even more intense mass surveillance.

A government press release said £55.5 million would be spent on facial recognition tools over the next four years specifically to address the problem of retail crime (also euphemistically referred to as “shoplifting”). That’s a good place to “tuck in” that information, given that the public is likely to look favorably at any attempt to tackle the problem.

However, if “shoplifting” is a major reason behind them, the plans look like killing a fly with an elephant gun. There will be a convoy of live facial recognition vans – “mobile units” – in crowded areas of high streets and elsewhere in cities.
Surveillance camera by Arthur Mazi is licensed under Unsplash

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