UK News: Activist loses world’s first court challenge over facial recognition technology - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsActivist loses world’s first court challenge over facial recognition technology

13:12  04 september  2019
13:12  04 september  2019 Source:   msn.com

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A Cardiff man is, for the first time in the UK, taking a police force to the High Court over its “unlawful” use of live facial recognition technology . In a statement, Mr Bridges said: “The police started using this technology against me and thousands of other people in my area without warning or consultation.

Activist loses world’s first court challenge over facial recognition technology © PA Ed Bridges launched the first legal challenge over police use of facial recognition technology (PA)

An activist has lost the world’s first legal challenge over police use of facial recognition technology.

Ed Bridges, 36, from Cardiff, brought the challenge at the High Court after claiming his face was scanned while doing Christmas shopping in 2017 and at a peaceful anti-arms protest in 2018.

His lawyers argued the use of automatic facial recognition (AFR) by South Wales Police caused him “distress” and violated his privacy and data protection rights by processing an image taken of him in public.

But his case was dismissed on Wednesday by two leading judges, who said the use of the technology was not unlawful.

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UK police use of facial recognition technology a failure, says report. If the forces do not stop using AFR systems then legal action will follow in the high court , the letters said. According to Liberty, South Wales police have used facial recognition technology in public spaces at least 20 times since

They are the first police force in Britain to be challenged in court over the powerful new face recognition technology . The Home Office has funded Welsh officers in rolling out the surveillance, which civil rights group Liberty says has been used 50 times since May 2017. Liberty believes it is

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Lord Justice Haddon-Cave, sitting with Mr Justice Swift, said: “We are satisfied both that the current legal regime is adequate to ensure appropriate and non-arbitrary use of AFR Locate, and that South Wales Police’s use to date of AFR Locate has been consistent with the requirements of the Human Rights Act and the data protection legislation.

The judges said they were told by lawyers during a three-day hearing in May that Mr Bridges’ case was the first time any court in the world had considered the use of AFR.

At the start of the ruling, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave said: “The algorithms of the law must keep pace with new and emerging technologies.

“The central issue is whether the current legal regime in the United Kingdom is adequate to ensure the appropriate and non-arbitrary use of AFR in a free and civilised society.

“At the heart of this case lies a dispute about the privacy and data protection implications of AFR.

“Counsel inform us that this is the first time that any court in the world had considered AFR.”

Activist loses world’s first court challenge over facial recognition technology © Getty

The decision was relayed over video link from the High Court in London to the High Court in Cardiff, where the case was heard.

Mr Bridges crowdfunded his legal action against the force and was represented by civil rights campaign group Liberty.

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A facial recognition system is a technology capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source.

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Facial recognition technology maps faces in a crowd by measuring the distance between features then compares results with a “watch list” of images – which can include suspects, missing people and persons of interest.

South Wales Police has been conducting a trial of the technology since 2017, with a view to it being rolled out nationally, and is considered the national lead force on its use.

The trial comprises two pilot projects, AFR Locate and AFR Identify, and the force has used the technology 50 times to date.

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