Bishop of Manchester asks about facial recognition technology

The Bishop of Manchester asked a question on facial recognition technology during a debate on the impacts and use of CCTV in the UK on 2nd February 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, I declare my interest as chair of the Greater Manchester Police independent ethics committee. Can the Minister tell us what the Government’s assessment is of the use of CCTV in conjunction with live facial recognition technology by police across the UK, and what legal safeguards are in place to ensure that fundamental rights are upheld?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con): Polls show that there is public support and, indeed, an expectation on the police to use technology such as this, particularly from victims and their families, to prevent, detect and investigate crime. There is a comprehensive legal framework covering its use. The noble Baroness, Lady Chakrabarti, mentioned the potential for bias against people from ethnic minority backgrounds. When using it, police must comply with the public sector equality duty, and a human operator is also important in this regard.


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