back to article Cardiff chap chucks challenge at chops*-checking cops

A resident of Cardiff, the Welsh capital, has launched a legal challenge over South Wales Police's use of facial recognition technology in public spaces – the first of its kind in the UK. The force has used the controversial kit about 20 times since June 2017 – when it started a pilot during the Champions League finals week. …

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Unhappy

Good Luck

You are going to need it.

I don't know what the government is using these days to lubricate their arguments about security but not much seems to stick to them these days.

And even when something does they drag it out a far as possible in the hope people will forget or they can enact yet another crap law.

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Re: Good Luck

"I don't know what the government is using these days to lubricate their arguments about security but not much seems to stick to them these days"

Terrorism.

Extremism.

Russia.

To name but a few.

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Re: Good Luck

I don't know what the government is using these days to lubricate their arguments

The Boris Johnson/May first principle of designing an argument: There is no need to present an argument where a lie will suffice.

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Re: Good Luck

The answer to all of your 3 key points is more Police on the ground. Not more back door surveillance of a very high percentage of innocent people.

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Facepalm

Re: Good Luck

"The answer to all of your 3 key points is more Police on the ground. Not more back door surveillance of a very high percentage of innocent people."

But that costs money! Money that cant be given to companies owned by friends of ours who provide nice little bonuses to us at christmas time...

We cant have that!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ANPR Tagging and strategic use of ANPR at grid "pinch points" is becoming commonplace.

Surveillance has gone past the point of keeping people safe to mainstream defacto monitoring of the population/vehicles.

Even remote rural areas of the UK (that see little crime or justification for this technology) are being fitted out with expensive ANPR Cameras at strategic "pinch points" in order to section areas into grids or sectors and create ANPR 'trip wires" as vehicles pass through them.

If you know an area, you can look where these cameras have been positioned and you realise they aren't mounted randomly but very strategically, on roads between towns where the number of potential routes is limited, where traffic gets funnelled, forced to take a certain route "pinch point". i.e. a bridge crossing, a single hill that gives access to the upper part of town, a main coastal road.

It's disturbing and undemocratic, there is absolutely no oversight regarding its deployment.

If you complain, put your head above the parapet, expect your car to be tagged for little reason, as you are seen as a someone that must be dishonest to notice this technology going up.

The use of this technology should be transparent because if used in certain ways, it can distort democracy.

Every electronic device on our streets "monitoring/collecting data" e.g. electronic road signs, should have marker where you can look up online exactly what resolution of video/image/audio is being collected. What processing of the image is taking place - facial/ANPR, what cross-referencing is taking place against say, Government databases.

Where this data is being stored, what is the purpose/justification and who has access to it and what is the criteria being used to access such data/images. How many times has this data has been accessed.

You get the point.

None of this is happening, there is an underlying network of technology going on around us, building up, which we know very little about, but is extremely powerful to those with access to it.

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Re: Good Luck

"But that costs money!"

Given the scale of the surveillance and storing the resulting data, it's probably cheaper than back door surveillance.

On the other hand you can't channel payments to most favoured suppliers and in return be treated to expensive sales trips to exotic places.

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Re: Good Luck

The German states are currently implementing their own version of pre-crime.

They are granting the police the right to listen in on conversations (including implanting a trojan on suspects devices to intercept communications, before they are encrypted) of people who "might" be thinking of committing a crime. They can also imprison suspects for up to 70 days without charge.

Bavaria has implemented it, Lower Saxony is planning on it (law will be refined over the summer recess and voted on when they come back from their summer holiday) and Meck Pomm and a few others are thinking of enacting similar powers to their police forces.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Luck

Singling out particular politicians of particular parties that you disagree with for that particular slur is grossly unpleasant. You comment would be better suited if applied to all politicians of all colours. particularly Tony Bliar.

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Re: ANPR Tagging and strategic use of ANPR at grid "pinch points" is becoming commonplace.

"The use of this technology should be transparent because if used in certain ways, it can distort democracy.

Every electronic device on our streets "monitoring/collecting data" e.g. electronic road signs, should have marker where you can look up online exactly what resolution of video/image/audio is being collected. What processing of the image is taking place - facial/ANPR, what cross-referencing is taking place against say, Government databases.

Where this data is being stored, what is the purpose/justification and who has access to it and what is the criteria being used to access such data/images. How many times has this data has been accessed.

You get the point."

Well said Sir (or Madam) We certainly do!

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Re: Good Luck

"Given the scale of the surveillance and storing the resulting data, it's probably cheaper than back door surveillance."

Unlikely. AWS Rekognition is $6/hour. A trained Police officer is much more expensive than that.

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Meh

Re: Good Luck

" You comment would be better suited if applied to all politicians of all colours. particularly Tony Bliar."

Hypocrisy much?

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Re: ANPR Tagging and strategic use of ANPR at grid "pinch points" is becoming commonplace.

between towns where the number of potential routes is limited

Cheaper than deploying a couple of Plod in a car with a notebook and pair of binoculars.

There are continued cries for the Police to be out catching criminals and not wasting time and money on silly things, and ANPR technology delivers excellent value for money in spotting vehicles of interest. If you want to pay significant more tax we can have thousands more Police on the beat, and they can gather the same data manually.

So the problem is not the technology, but the use, or misuse of the data however it may have been captured. And that’s a Policy decision.

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Re: ANPR Tagging and strategic use of ANPR at grid "pinch points" is becoming commonplace.

...there is currently no legal framework, despite promises from the government to set this out in the long-awaited Biometrics Strategy.

And I thought the US was supposed to be the Wild West! Why is it for every person who watches something like Gattaca or reads something like 1984 and recoils in disgust, there's someone else who uses it as a to-do list?

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Big Brother

Wait for the magic words ....

"in good faith"

CASE DISMISSED.

Next !

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But! But!

Think of the children! I mean, the terrorists! I mean the terrorist children!

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Re: But! But!

Yes, these days the blow up so quickly.

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re. Chops

It's the British slang for the mouth or jaws, not the entire face.

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He better watch out, the cops may decide to do a bit of stop and search, with a small bag of powder suddenly being found !

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"He better watch out, the cops may decide to do a bit of stop and search, with a small bag of powder suddenly being found !"

It's not illegal to be in possession of a bag of lemon sherbert.... (yet)

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This post has been deleted by its author

Yes, but then it will all be on camera.

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The cameras will be mysteriously malfunctioning that day.

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"The cameras will be mysteriously malfunctioning that day."

Whilst this might be acceptable in the USA, in the UK a judge will throw the case out.

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Anonymous Coward

"The force has been very cognisant of concerns surrounding privacy and are confident that our approach is lawful and proportionate,"

and ignored them along with issues of reliability. Having worked with a homer offic/police group looking at other technical answers to largely social problems I am well aware that they don't give a fuck about evidence and can't understand statistics. 2% correct identification, 25% false positive is interpreted as "we think we got 2 of the bastards.

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" I am well aware that they don't give a fuck about evidence and can't understand statistics. 2% correct identification, 25% false positive is interpreted as "we think we got 2 of the bastards."

This is best classified as "noble cause corruption" and pointed out as such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_cause_corruption

'An example of noble cause corruption is police misconduct "committed in the name of good ends"[3] or neglect of due process through “a moral commitment to make the world a safer place to live."[4]

Conditions for such corruption usually occur where individuals feel no administrative accountability, lack morale and leadership, and lose faith in the criminal justice system.[5] These conditions can be compounded by arrogance and weak supervision.[6]'

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The Greater Good

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Anonymous Coward

Facial recognition and protests...what could possibly go wrong?

https://nypost.com/2017/09/28/department-of-justice-demands-facebook-account-information-of-anti-trump-activists/

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FAIL

Huh?

How do you have an expectation of privacy if you are in public? Especially if you are at a protest where you are trying to bring attention to an issue? I suppose he didn't mind journalist taking his picture?

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Re: Huh?

Correct me I'm wrong, but, in France at least you are not allowed to sell photos of people without permission. At all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Huh?

"How do you have an expectation of privacy if you are in public?"

Quite easily - it depends on your actions and demeanor (there is case law on this w.r.t. being photographed in public places). Stood out in the open, intentionally drawing attention to yourself? No. Discretely sitting out of the way, quietly taking medication and trying not to be noticed? Yes.

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Re: Huh?

In The UK you can take anyone's photo in a public place without their permission. You can subsequently sell it or publish it if you wish,

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Re: Huh?

Anyone can be photogrpaphed in a public place without their permission being sought first. There is no legislation preventing that. If the subject wished to claim that his "right" to privacy was breached then it's open to him/her to sue the photographer (as this chap looks set to do).

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Alien

Torchwood

The police in cardiff aren't looking for human criminals, they're looking for aliens...

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Don't need your face mate, just the IMEI of your phone...

I mean I love it, stick it to them.... what did it say something like 91% of anything they've tried to use it for has been successfully appealed / discounted as evidence.

Bloody expensive load of crap then isn't it?

But I've had similar moments entering venues / clubs lately where they demand to have your ID and scan it, and I can't help but ask "Alright Mr Security..... who owns that database you're scanning my passport into? Are they certified to ISO27001, or even PCI, or even Cyber Essentials levels?" and they look at me a bit funny and say "Scan your ID or ferk off mate...."

And I leave and go elsewhere. :P

Glad this chap has had the usage of this sort of thing brought up though, good on him. It does set a new precedent and it COULD so easily be abused.

Bet he has an iPhone though..... ahem.

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Re: Don't need your face mate, just the IMEI of your phone...

"clubs lately where they demand to have your ID and scan it"

on the face of it that would be a GDPR breach.

It'd be even more fun to let them scan it and then hit them with a subject access request.

The ICO will probably have words to say about such behaviour if their attention is drawn to it.

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Chilling effect on peaceful protest?

When I've been on a peaceful protest, I've fully expected the police to be watching me, and my mugshot to feature somewhere on recorded material. That goes back to sometime last century, before Data Protection.

Not saying this chap doesn't have a case. But I'm not convinced the hyperbolae help anyone.

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Big Brother

How long until...

1. The use of masks is de rigueur in public life.

2. The use of masks is made illegal in public life.

?

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Re: How long until...

They all ready have that covered under the burkah legislation that is so popular at the moment. Because terrorists.

IR light is the way to go. Cameras are blinded. People cant see it.

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Re: How long until...

"IR light is the way to go. Cameras are blinded. People cant see it."

And it makes you stick out like a pair of dog bollocks in the surveillance videos.

It's called "drawing attention to oneself"

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Re: How long until...

Thats why you make a fortune selling hoodies and caps to delinquents and make it a must have fashion accessory.

Plus as far as i am aware there isnt a law against decorating your clothing with lights and as i am not partaking in criminal acts they can search/question me all they like.

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It'll be interesting to see the ruling on the right to privacy argument. Taking the photo will be deemed allowable as there's no general expectation of privacy when in public. I'm guessing it will be argued that taking the photo is one thing, but using it in a system that can automatically identify, track and monitor people is different. It's not a slam dunk, but I could see that being ruled an invasion of privacy.

The free expression argument seems more likely to succeed, in my opinion. The police have been deploying this system at protests, and I can't see there being a legal justification for using this system instead of a less intrusive one. The only way they might get away with it is if they can demonstrate the system is only looking for those that have a warrant for their arrest and discarding all other data.

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