Facial recognition and private companies (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2019-07-18
Session date: 
July 18, 2019
Reference: 
2019/14214
Question By: 
Sian Berry
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

On 17 June 2019, The Times ran an article titled "Ministers must act over ‘explosion’ of spy technology, says watchdog," in which the Surveillance Camera Commissioner criticised work by Greater Manchester Police that involved the use of facial recognition data captured by the owners of the city’s Trafford shopping centre on 18 million shoppers. Has the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) worked with any retailers or private sector organisations in this way either to monitor or plan to monitor Londoner's facial data outside the MPS's own trials?

Answers

Answer for Facial recognition and private companies (1)
Facial recognition and private companies (1)

Facial recognition and private companies (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The MPS’s use of Live Facial Recognition technology was limited to the 10 trial deployments. This trial has now come to an end. 

The MPS has not worked with any retailers or private sector organisations who use Live Facial Recognition, neither do we have any current plans to do so.

In its recent report, the London Policing Ethics Panel concluded that there is a need for the police to build and maintain the public’s trust in their use of new technologies and sets out recommendations and conditions to help achieve this and that MOPAC and the MPS should lobby Government to strengthen regulation of new technology. We will continue to work closely with the Met and ensure the panel’s recommendations are addressed before further deployment.

Facial recognition and private companies (1)

Facial recognition and private companies (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The MPS has just now brought it to my attention that the original information they provided MOPAC with was incorrect and they have in fact shared images related to facial recognition with King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership. I am informed that this ceased in 2018.

As a matter of urgency I have asked for a report from the MPS on this concerning development and on their wider data-sharing arrangements, including what information has been shared and with whom. I apologise to the Assembly Member that the previous information provided was inaccurate. A fuller update will be provided to London Assembly Members as soon as I am able.