Live facial recognition technology trial in Romford (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2019-03-21
Session date: 
March 21, 2019
Reference: 
2019/6099
Question By: 
Siân Berry
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

According to the Metropolitan Police Service advice and information webpage on the live facial recognition technology trial (https://www.met.police.uk/live-facial-recognition-trial/): “Anyone can refuse to be scanned; it’s not an offence or considered ‘obstruction’ to actively avoid being scanned.” However, witnesses at the live facial recognition technology trial in Romford town centre in January 2019 reported that several people were stopped after covering their faces or pulling up hoods (https://bit.ly/2EOEOZE). Do you share my concern that innocent people objecting to the use of this technology by covering their faces were stopped and treated as potential suspects?

Answer

Live facial recognition technology trial in Romford (1)

Live facial recognition technology trial in Romford (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The briefing to officers is very clear - that refusal to be scanned (on its own) is not a reason to stop someone. The Met Police assure me that people objecting to the use of this technology have not been treated as suspects.