Police scan faces of shoppers in London in facial recognition trial

Police are scanning the faces of shoppers in a controversial facial recognition technology trial in Oxford Circus.

Scotland Yard is seeking actors to take part in the scheme that the force say will help them to “prevent and detect crime and find wanted criminals”.

A casting call posted online and seen by The Standard, reads: “We are looking for a huge crowd of people.

“This is an exercise on behalf of the Police, scientific research to test the capability of the cameras to recognise people’s faces.

“The results of the study will help the Metropolitan Police Service fulfil their Public Sector Equality Duties regarding the uses of facial recognition.”

 

The Star Now advert adds the force was looking for actors aged between 18 and 74 in casual clothing.

It says: “You will be taking facial photographs, videos, and selfies with a variety of camera systems to provide data for analysis of the performance of face recognition systems and differences in performance due to demographics.

“Some images will be taken with subjects wearing face masks. Images will be taken both inside and outside on the street while walking through a Live Facial Recognition deployment.”

Human rights group Liberty said they were “tipped off” to the trial when they saw the advert posted to a casting site.

One activist asked: “If they’re using actors, why do they also need to use it on Oxford Circus with thousands of people also passing through.

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