The Commissioner launches a consultation on the code for surveillance cameras

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The Commissioner for Biometrics and Surveillance Cameras has launched a consultation on an update of the code of conduct for local authorities and the police using cameras.

Professor Fraser Sampson (pictured) called for input from a wide range of stakeholders with a September 8 deadline, with the code amended to provide guidance on using the technology.

The revised draft code – first published in 2013 – takes into account data protection legislation and the judgment in the Bridges v South Wales Police case, in which the Court of Appeal ruled against the force on the legality of its use of automated face mask recognition.

The draft states that any use of technology or other systems for recognizing biometric characteristics must be clearly justified and proportionate to achieve the stated objective, and be duly validated. It should always involve human intervention before decisions are made that negatively affect an individual.

It adds criteria for the use of facial recognition by police, including defining and posting categories of people on all watch lists, establishing an authorization process, ensuring that all biometric data that do not generate an alert are suppressed almost instantly, and that they act in accordance with the obligation of equality in the public sector.

There has also been some streamlining of the text to make it easier for users to follow.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government License v3.0


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