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Great Britain’s three nations are not in agreement over the use of facial recognition technology by police forces.
The technology, which can be legally used by police in Wales, was officially introduced by England’s Metropolitan Police Service in East London yesterday, amid a peaceful protest by Big Brother Watch.
Use of the technology by English police forces has not been debated in parliament or approved by elected officials.
By contrast, Police Scotland announced yesterday that its plans to roll out facial recognition technology by 2026 have been put on hold pending a wider debate about the implications of its use.
Their decision comes in the wake of a report published on Tuesday, February 11, by a Scottish government committee, which concluded that facial recognition technology is “currently not fit for use” by Police Scotland.
The Justice Sub-Committee on Policing informed Police Scotland that the force must demonstrate the legal basis for using the technology and its compliance with human rights and data protection legislation before they can start using it.
In a report that was part of the committee’s inquiry into the advancement of the technology, the committee wrote: “The use of live facial recognition technology would be a radical departure from Police Scotland’s fundamental principle of policing by consent.”
The committee warned that the facial recognition technology was “known to discriminate against females and those from black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.”
Committee convener John Finnie said: “It is clear that this technology is in no fit state to be rolled out or indeed to assist the police with their work.
“Current live facial recognition technology throws up far too many ‘false positives’ and contains inherent biases that are known to be discriminatory.”
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Duncan Sloan said it would now conduct a public consultation on the live software and keep a “watching brief on the trialling of the technology in England and Wales.”
In September 2019, Cardiff’s high court ruled that police use of automatic facial recognition technology to search for people in crowds is lawful. The technology is currently being used by South Wales police.
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RIP OFF BRITAIN is back for a ninth series featuring the pitfalls and problems that consumers find themselves falling foul of. And Presenters Gloria Hunniford and Angela Rippon spoke to Express.co.uk ahead of the first episode about their own bank scam experiences and how to avoid identity theft.
Returning to front the BBC One Daytime shows are presenters Angela Rippon, Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville who will be travelling the length and breadth of the country to investigate the issues that have prompted viewers to contact the show.
With ten episodes featuring real-life stories from consumers who have found themselves at the wrong end of bad customer service, online security breaches and the ill-will of scammers, the team meet a variety of the people with stories to share, and will be offering tips and advice to make sure others don’t suffer the same fate.
Episodes across the series challenge high street banks, online safety and cybercrime, ticket tours, energy companies, investment scams and identity fraud.
In one episode the team meet a former hacker – who was arrested for his role in targeting websites including that of the CIA. However, Mustafa is now pushing for companies to up their online security.
In the show he lifts the life on how one of the biggest names in telecoms fell victim to a cyber-attack, and tells Rip Off Britain viewers how to avoid becoming a victim of a hack themselves.
In another episode the team also meet a homeowner from greater Manchester whose identity was stolen and used to put his house up for sale by fraudsters.
The crime was only intercepted by chance when his daughter saw her father’s property advertised online.
Many of the issues hit close to home, as Gloria reveals how she was affected by a banking scam.
The 77-year-old had £120,000 drained from her savings account after an imposter walked into a bank and pretended to be her.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Gloria said: “i felt violated and very insecure.
“I’ve been warning people for years about bank security and identity theft, and it just goes to show this can happen to any secure account.”
Angela, 72, revealed her best advice for people to avoid identity theft: “Make sure you shred anything which has any information about you on it.
“Secondly, be careful what you put out there – on Twitter and Facebook – because it could be giving criminal the exact information they need.”
The first ten episodes are followed by a special week of live programmed from London. Consumers are invited to contact the show and have their queries addressed live int he programme – either online, or in person, with a drop in area popping up during the week outside BBC’s London HQ, New Broadcasting House.
Rip Off Britain will air on weekday mornings, BBC One, at 9.15am between the 1st and 12th of May – followed by a special week of Live programmes from Monday 15 May at the same time.
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