Facial Recognition Cameras - Yet Another Reason Not To Go Back To UK

Jane, if you have an account on twitter, fressbuch or any other social media platform, you are opening yourself to be spied upon, no matter where you are in the world. Even certain Email providers such as goggle, MSN etc have certain amounts of data linked to you or anyone else. The virtues of the digital world.

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A friends son works in CID At the beginning of the school year when all the proud parents post pictures of their children in their new school uniforms his team posted a picture on social media of a young girl on her first day at school.,except she didn’t exist ,they photoshopped all the bits together ,by 3 pm the child’s photo and details had appeared on a paedophile website

That’s sickening. My grandson is 7 and I used to post pics of him. Now I tend to just send them to his parents via messenger, not sure if that’s safer.

This completely backs my concern that automatic deletion of photos of people who were charged and not convicted are not being removed as legally required.
These people have gone through a hard time already and to find their details being used in this way adds insult to injury.
Thank goodness the Select Committee is doing its job and standing up for the rights of the individual.
To those who say that this technology is already being used in airports, if you choose to fly you accept that, but walking down your local High Street is a totally different matter and is a gross intrusion of privacy.

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Clearly the technology is in its infancy and will become more accurate as time goes on and improvements are made.
I have to say that I really don’t see it as an invasion of privacy. Surely those that have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from it.
Once perfected, it will be a wonderful tool for the forces of law and order who desperately need all the help they can get in their task of keeping us safe.

Can anyone really object to an automated system that alerts police to a known terrorist suspect hanging around the railway station, or to the known child molester who has been spotted loitering in a park full of children in a different town to that in which they reside ?

Facial Recognition Cameras will be a marvelous crime fighting tool once the system is perfected. The system will often enable police to intervene BEFORE the crime is committed, as well as being an excellent way of locating those offenders who are already on the ‘wanted’ list.

In my view the law abiding public should actively welcome the development of such systems, safe in the knowledge that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear from it.


I take it you accept all the cctv units hanging of shop fronts, inside shopping malls, pictures being taken at the ATM yet you find it “a gross intrusion of privacy”. Something wrong with the logic there.

The cctv does not automatically to po;ice databases, which is my main beef.

Well that explains it. But if you have nothing to hide or are not a wanted “dead or Alive” criminal you dont (shouldnt) have anything to worry about. The rozzers are not necessarily the fastest in town (only if a car is available) when it comes to deleting data, but i can only hope they try their best, bless their cotton wotsits.

Why is that then Jane ?
I must admit to being rather at a loss of understanding as to why it is that you object to the police receiving real-time information in relation to the whereabouts of suspected and known terrorists and criminals.


The problem is that it is not just ‘wanted’ criminals who are on police databases.
The fact that there is such national concern shows that I am not alone .
The outdated mantra, that if you have done nothing wrong, you should have no worries, is flawed because those in power often change the boundaries of what is ‘wrong’.


Yes, the high profile cases involving Sir Cliff Richard and Ted Heath are testament to that.

You are absolutely correct when you say that it is not just ‘wanted’ criminals who are on the police database Jane, but I wonder why you see that as a problem.
Would you not agree that the police should hold data about previously convicted persons, and indeed those who for strong reasons are suspected of committing crime even though they may never have been actually convicted.
Information has always been the mainstay of combating crime, and whilst years ago it was laboriously collated via a paper trail, in these modern times it is done electronically in one way or another. The Great Train Robbery criminals were apprehended due to a small boy collecting vehicle registration numbers in a notebook, but now we have Number Plate Recognition cameras that read and record every passing vehicle.

Facial Recognition is still in it’s infancy, and definitely requires further development to improve it’s accuracy, and that is why some of the intended trials have not gone ahead. The need for improvement is obvious, and there is ability to achieve that improvement without further public trials at this time. Yes, there is indeed a level of national concern, but that is because the system is not yet ready for use. Once the system is improved, then that will be the proper time to start using it productively.

I’m sure that you will also agree that sometimes the boundaries of what is deemed to be ‘wrong’ do need to be changed. Fortunately we have a democratic Parliamentary system to make those changes appropriately, and we should not forget that the police only apply the law rather than create or amend it themselves.

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Robert I really wish the Met police had extended me such a courtesy. My van was broken into at 3 am, I had a silent alarm that sounded in the house and I ran down to scare off the thieves. Eyes too blurry to get the number plate but it was a dark green Volvo estate. I am surrounded by ANPR cameras. How many dark green Volvo estates were there driving around at 3am? We shall never know as the request was denied.
Ok to be used for motoring offences because they are real money spinners.

Jane, I have seen several pieces of film that stopped terrorism plans going ahead from people hanging around train/tube stations and buildings. The evil way these people’s minds work would shock anyone and as much as I don’t want to be observed everywhere we have to do what we can to prevent atrocities like Borough Market. The misguided individuals would have carried out surveillance of Borough Market for several days prior if that pattern would have been spotted then lives would have been saved.

There has been confirmation that people whose data has been on police databases and which should have been wiped after a statutory time still remains there.

Perhaps you cannot remember, but in fairly recent times the data elected politicians has been found on police databases, particularly from the left and also trade unionists and journalists who have not been convicted of any crime.

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That’s what surveillance is.

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I thoroughly agree John that it is an unsatisfactory situation when crimes are not properly investigated. Unfortunately it is in great part due to the finance cuts that have been imposed on police forces nationwide by the government over the last ten years or so which have led to substantial reductions in the number of police officers.
The recent announcement of the recruitment of an additional 20,000 officers will go someway towards redressing the problem of police numbers, but unfortunately it is going to be five years from now before those additional numbers can be employed, trained, and become sufficiently experienced to be able to operate independently of a more experienced officer.
When one adds in factors such as the increase in population over the last ten years, and the additional types of crime that police are now tasked with preventing, then that 20,000 should really be around 35,000 just to be able to stand still as regards the standard of service provided to the public.
The age old problem is of course that everyone wants the police to deal with their problems, but few people are willing to pay more in taxes to put more boots on the ground. So in order to spend what money they do have in the most effective way, it is understandable that Chief Officers look towards advances in technology to help.

The Volvo you mentioned may well have of itself been stolen, or in any case was probably not registered in the name of the offender, but I agree with you that such is not a good reason for failing to investigate the matter with due diligence.

When such data exists in the records of the police and security services it is there for a reason, and often it is not in the national interest for those reasons to be publicly disclosed.
Unfortunately it is not unknown for persons with subversive intent to get themselves elected to some body or another as a means of covering their tracks.
Surely the most important thing is not that the data exists, but rather how it is used, and what level of clearance is needed to access it.
I really do not believe that the ordinary law abiding citizen has anything to fear. GCHQ, MI5, MI6, and the Special Branch have far better things to do with their time.