UK surveillance camera code proposal updates biometrics and surveillance regulations


The UK Parliament has received an updated version of the Surveillance Camera Code for consideration.

The text of the new proposal focuses on regulating the use of technologies such as biometrics and surveillance cameras by law enforcement agencies, while outlining the boundaries to protect the privacy of individuals.

“Any use of facial recognition or other biometric feature recognition systems must be clearly justified and proportionate to achieve the stated purpose, and be properly validated,” it reads.

The document also specifies that such use must always involve human intervention before decisions that negatively affect an individual are made.

The new version of the Code states that operators of surveillance camera systems must consider all approved operational, technical and proficiency standards relating to a system and its purpose prior to deployment, and then strive to maintain them.

“These are generally focused on typical CCTV installations, however, there may be additional standards applicable when the system has specific advanced capabilities such as ANPR, video analytics or facial recognition systems, or when there is a specific deployment scenario, for example, the use of body worn video recorders.

Additionally, the proposal calls for stronger assurances of the reliability of biometric accuracy ratings used to support a surveillance camera system that are based on comparisons with a benchmark database for matching purposes.

“Any use of technologies such as ANPR or facial recognition systems that may rely on the accuracy of information generated elsewhere, such as databases provided by others, should not be introduced without an assessment. regular to ensure that the underlying data is fit for purpose, ”the text reads.

These rules apply, for example, to system managers with regard to vehicle registration numbers or contact details of known persons.

In terms of live facial recognition (LFR) regulations to help police find people on a watch list, the updated Code sets out more stringent regulations.

This includes ensuring that all biometrics that do not generate an alert against someone on the watchlist system are deleted almost instantly and that agents must request an authorization process for deployments. LFR as well as to identify the criteria by which they are entitled to deploy the technology.

Along with the update of the Surveillance Camera Code, the new proposal updates the references to the Data Protection Act 2018, as well as the judgment of the Court of Appeal on live facial recognition in Bridges against South Wales Police.

The text of the Code has also been shortened to make it easier for users to follow.

Proposed by the Interior Ministry after a statutory consultation, the updated version of the Code is expected to enter into force on January 12, 2022, if Parliament approves it.

The Code update was criticized by former CCTV commissioner Tony Porter for insufficiently strong guidance and a lack of clarity in governance rules.

Articles topics

best practices | biometric identification | biometrics | video surveillance | facial recognition | policemen | confidentiality | regulation | standards | United Kingdom | video analysis | video surveillance


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