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Facial recognition case is thrown out by High Court.

Byline: JAMES BOOTH @Jamesdbooth1

THE HIGH Court yesterday rejected a privacy challenge to the use of facial rec-ognition technology in a landmark ruling.

The High Court found that the use of automatic facial recognition technology (AFR) by South Wales Police was lawful after a challenge by privacy campaigner Ed Bridges, who was represented by advocacy group Liberty.

The AFR technology used by South Wales Police uses a live CCTV feed in conjunction with a watchlist and alerts the police if anyone of interest is detected.

Bridges complained that his privacy was infringed upon when he was scanned by the system while Christmas shopping.

The court found that while the use of the technology did interfere with privacy rights, there was a lawful basis for using it and its use by the South Wales Police was necessary and proportionate.

Liberty's lawyer Megan Goulding said: "This disappointing judgment does not reflect the very serious threat that facial recognition poses to our rights and freedoms."

Liberty and Bridges said they would appeal against the judgment.

"This sinister technology undermines our privacy and I will continue to fight against its unlawful use to ensure our rights are protected and we are free from disproportionate government surveillance," Bridges said.

Fiona Barton, QC, of 5 Essex Court, the chambers acting for South Wales Police, said: "This is a very important judgment. Not only for the police service but also because of the potential for the wider use of AFR in a broad range of applications by companies."

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Publication:City AM (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 5, 2019
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