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Big Brother Watch @bbw1984
, 39 tweets, 21 min read Read on Twitter
"There are big concerns about equality issues arising from #FacialRecognition, particularly the risk of misidentifying people of colour who are already disproportionately affected by policing tactics."

- @GreenJennyJones #live in @UKHouseofLords
"The Govnt can't stand idly by while allowing this intrusion into individuals' rights and identities (...)

The Govnt is letting the police get on with automated #FacialRecognition as an 'operational matter'. This is clearly not just an 'operational matter'" - @GreenJennyJones
"I'm very concerned that this technology is being used with a database full of illegal images of innocent people - and I include myself in that number" - @GreenJennyJones 👏👏👏

#FacialRecognition #LiveDebate #FaceOff
"My pictures will be on the database along with hundreds of others who were arrested at peaceful, perfectly lawful, protests.

"No one chooses to have their photograph taken by the police" - @GreenJennyJones

#FacialRecognition live debate @UKHouseofLords
"I extend my respect & gratitude to NSA whistleblower Edward @Snowden, a true hero of our time.

Among Snowden's revelations was a GCHQ program called Optic Nerve (...) - @GreenJennyJones in @UKHouseofLords #FacialRecognition 👏
(...) in which millions of innocent people were spied on through their webcams to experiment with #FacialRecognition . Parliament has since passed laws which make bulk interception lawful - we are moving towards more rather than less of this mass surveillance" - @GreenJennyJones
"There are very real concerns out there about the use of mass surveillance & #FacialRecognition technology. We're moving into the territory that even Orwell couldn't have imagined." - @GreenJennyJones
"Whistleblowers like @Snowden are being persecuted but we should be offering them political asylum for their heroism and exposing these nefarious and illegal schemes."

- @GreenJennyJones live in #FacialRecognition debate in @UKHouseofLords
"Our faces are now being used like fingerprints & DNA. If police were taking those at sports events, carnivals and remembrance parades, that would cause a great deal of concern.

We should be no less concerned about automated scanning & identifying of faces" - @GreenJennyJones
Now Lord Wasserman (Con) casually suggests we adopt a nationwide public/private #FacialRecognition network(!):

"A task to be tackled urgently is to improve the quality of the main source for #FacialRecognition - the millions of private CCTV cameras all over this country".
"There is no legislation. There is no codified regulation. There is no independent oversight of #FacialRecognition. We have a 'make it up as you go along' approach - 'do as you want as long as you don't get caught' "

- Lord Scriven @Paulscriven live debate in @UKHouseofLords
"We're on the road to another court case. And my guess is, the Government will probably lose" - @Paulscriven live debate #FacialRecognition #FaceOff
Lord Scriven says Durham police are using body worn cameras to create a 'troublemaker database': it is "totally against the principles of data protection and against the spirit of not using this type of technology for intelligence gathering"
"Many people on the (#FacialRecognition) database will have no idea - they may have been to a pop concert, a memorial ceremony." - @Paulscriven
Lord Jonathan Evans, head of MI5 2007-13, makes a rare appearance. Declares an interest as an Advisor to 'Facewatch Ltd'...

"We make a mistake if we emphasise the risks of #FacialRecognition given that it provides so many opportunities..." 🤨
Lord Evans, former head of MI5: "Criticisms we see from Big Brother Watch that #FacialRecognition doesn't work may or may not be true today. I am confident that they will not be true inthe next few years." Says you dont even need police photos - can use photos from internet..
"We are moving from promise to reality. Given the pressure on police budgets #FacialRecognition offers a real opportunity."

- Lord Evans, ex-MI5, who also says shopkeepers and entertainment providers (?!) should be able to use #FacialRecognition...
You won't be surprised that Lord Evans finishes by saying "We should not smother innovation" (just rights..?); there should be no "disincentive" to use; and that of hopes the Home Office "encourages the use of #FacialRecognition technology."

Thanks for your contribution, Jon 👎
Ex-MI5 Lord Evans finishes, he hopes #FacialRecognition doesn't "become a bonanza for lawyers". Why would he say that...? Because of its questionable legal basis, perhaps?

Our lawyers will enjoy that. Thanks Jon. 👏
The Bishop of St Albans @BishopStAlbans says he's "struck by the fact that hardly anyone I spoke to realised what was going on; some were horrified; some were puzzled; and every one of them had questions and worries"

The Bishop @BishopStAlbans says the Govnt must allow more time to consider this "very important issue which touches on fundamental human freedoms, human rights, and a whole range of issues about the sort of society we want to be" #FacialRecognition
"Very often in these debates we trade off fear, that 'we've got terrorists coming, we've got to do something'. If we take that line, we'd have everybody permanently tagged - none of us want that." 👏 - @BishopStAlbans on #FacialRecognition
"This is a democratic issue about what it means to be a citizen - about what our rights and our responsibilities are." Wise words from @BishopStAlbans on #FacialRecognition
"The suggestion that someone must have to actually apply to have their images deleted (from the Police National Database) cannot be satisfactory" - Lord Patel of @LordsSTCom on #FacialRecognition
Scanning crowds for 'persons of interest' using automated #FacialRecognition is "an issue of questionable ethics" says Lord Patel of @LordsSTCom , and references its use at Notting Hill Carnival and the Six Nations
Lord Paddick points out how worrying ex-MI5 Lord Evans' references to using images pulled from the internet for #FacialRecognition is. Imagine how this could be used in a protest scenario, he says @brianpaddick
"It is time the Government got in control of this runaway train" - @brianpaddick on #FacialRecognition
Lord Paddick raises the important issue that many facial recognition algorithms have been found to disproportionately misidentify black people and women: "without regulation and oversight, there is the potential for 1984 to become a reality, albeit 34yrs late" - @brianpaddick
for the Government: "We are committed to producing a framework to ensure organisations can innovate in their use and deployment of biometric technologies, such as #FacialRecognition "
"We are planning improvements to the governance of police use of custody images and facial recognition technology" @SusanBaroness

This is basically an acknowledgment from Government that the current policy/lack of is a failure and likely unlawful.
"Automated #FacialRecognition is a rapidly evolving technology with huge potential. (...) We do believe that more can be done to improve governance around AFR & we are discussing options for doing this with Commissioners and the police". @SusanBaroness
for Govnt joking about the (actually true) fact that photos of Baroness @GreenJennyJones were stored by police after they classed her a 'domestic extremist' simply for being an environmentalist, and suggests she writes to Met to request her images are deleted..!?
"Police should automatically review all of the images they hold in line with APP guidance" says the Minister @SusanBaroness

But there is nothing to suggest that they do. #FaceOff #FacialRecognition
"Gov is exploring the options for expanding (i.e. putting in place) the oversight of #FacialRecognition, and seeking to establish an oversight board " @SusanBaroness

We urge caution - there is no legal basis for AFR, so oversight merely provides a reassuring gloss.
Minister @SusanBaroness writes off concerns about #FacialRecognition discriminating against BME by saying it is an "evolving technology" only used in pilot schemes.

So why has the Home Office spent millions of taxpayers' £ on it? Why have police been using it for 3 years?
Why were the only 2 occasions Metropolitan Police used #FacialRecognition in 2 years chosen to be Notting Hill Carnival 2016, and Notting Hill Carnival 2017?
If it is a 'pilot', why has South Wales Police used automated #FacialRecognition countless times and scanned millions of people in the past year, and even used it to send people to jail?

Seems like quite an extensive 'pilot' to us.
And that's all. We think @GreenJennyJones' opening speech, commended by the whole House, was incredibly powerful & will have a special place in the evolving history of technology & rights. Thanks to the Baroness for tabling the debate; thanks all for following/sharing the thread.
You can read Big Brother Watch's briefing for today's House of Lords debate on #FacialRecognition in policing and security here:…
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