Ethical principles to guide police facial recognition trials


In a letter of May 2018, the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group (BFEG) policy sponsor, Alex Macdonald, asked the group to consider police use of facial recognition systems. In response, the BFEG commissioned this report which outlines a framework of ethical principles that should be taken into consideration when developing policy on the use of live facial recognition technology for policing purposes and when designing trials of the technology.

The framework identifies nine key ethical areas that should be considered when designing policy and deploying technology. These include consideration of the public interest, necessity and proportionality of any proposed uses.

This report was authored by the Facial Recognition Working Group of the BFEG.

The members of the group were Professor Nina Hallowell, Professor Louise Amoore, Professor Simon Caney and Dr Peter Waggett. The group was chaired by Professor Hallowell. The report was approved by the main committee.

The BFEG will continue to monitor development in this field and will advise Home Office ministers as appropriate.

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