The Metropolitan Police Service announced today that the Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology will be deployed in the city of London. It will be operational in the key areas of the city using the signposted cameras that will scan the faces of passing people and will alert officers to potential matches with wanted criminals.
According to the Metropolitan Police Service, “this will help tackle serious crime, including serious violence, gun and knife crime, child sexual exploitation and help protect the vulnerable”.
The Met has also published a tweet assuring the public that images obtained through the face scanning that doesn’t trigger a potential alert will be deleted immediately and the officers will have the control over who to stop as an alert and not. The LFR technology operates as a standalone system and its not part of any other imaging platform, such as CCTV or bodycams.
The Met says that its insisted on using the technology as a good for the citizens but critics say it as ineffectual. A recent study from the University of Essex has found that the Met’s LFR technology has an inaccuracy rate of 81 percent.
In 2019, the similar technology used by the police in South Wales mistakenly identified about 2,300 innocent people as potential criminals. Just a week earlier the European Commission revealed it’s considering a ban on the use of LFR in public areas for up to five years, while regulators figure out how to prevent the tech from being abused.