London police to deploy facial recognition cameras in London amid privacy concerns

The London Metropolitan Police has announced the deployment across London of live facial recognition technology within a month. This technology will be designed to help the police tackle serious crime by locating and arresting wanted people. According to ZDNet, it will be deployed in specific locations around London and ‘will be used to scan the faces of people passing through the area, with the aim of identifying wanted individuals’. The Associated Press reports that the facial recognition runs on technology from the Japanese company NEC, and can look for “watchlists” of up to 2,500 individuals wanted for serious and violent offences. This decision was met with strong concerns by human rights organisations, indicating it constituted an ‘enormous expansion of the surveillance state and a serious threat to civil liberties in the UK’.