It is inescapable that AFR capabilities can be an aid to public safety particularly from terrorist threats in crowded or highly populated places. Andrew Parker, the DG of the Security Service rather eloquently set out the threat context to our society only recently. It is understandable that there is an appetite within law enforcement agencies to exploit face identification capabilities, an appetite which is doubtlessly borne out of a duty and determination to keep us safe.
Big Brother Watch – Defending Civil Liberties, Protecting Privacy
This technology already exist in society for our convenience and therefore it is arguable that the public will have something of an expectation that those technologies are so used by agents of the state to keep us safe from serious threats, but only in justifiable circumstances where their use is lawful, ethical, proportionate and transparent. In the context of safety, the public also need to be safe from unlawful, disproportionate and illegitimate state intrusion, and they must have confidence that those technologies have integrity.
In my view, the challenge is arriving at a balance and for that to happen there need to be a clear framework of legitimacy and transparency which guides the state, holds it to account and delivers confidence and security amongst the public.
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I have yet to have confidence that government has a satisfactory approach to the issue in delivering a framework upon which the police and others can rely and upon and which the public can have confidence, but I do believe that we are on a journey to that destination and a journey is fuelled by constructive and challenging debate. The commissioner is available for media interview and contactable at scc sccommissioner.
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Response to the Big Brother Watch report
Cookie settings. Press release Response to the Big Brother Watch report. Published 16 May Big Brother Watch. Retrieved November 15, Sky News.
Retrieved The Times. The Intercept.
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