back to article UK is 'not a surveillance state' insists minister defending police face recog tech

Opposition MPs have debated whether automated facial recognition technology should be used at all in the UK, after a pressure group mounted legal challenges against police use of face-scanning equipment. People shopping in Piccadilly Circus, London Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with …

  1. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Hurd also said it would be too much work for police to obey the law.

    And it's rather a faff for me to do that as well, would that work as a defense m'lord?

    1. NATTtrash
      Trollface

      Hurd also said it would be too much work for police to obey the law.

      So, making sure they don't bore themselves, because they have nothing to do any more, would it be an idea if every citizen did a GDPR information request?

      1. STUNNN

        And we'd need to send that in every six months in case our picture was recorded in the time since the last one.

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      And (almost) in the same line “We are not a surveillance state and have no intention of becoming one”. So:

      We are the Number 2 surveillance state and have every intention of becoming Number one

      There Mr Hurd, FTFY. Mines the glass with the biometric data reader and DNA sampler.

  2. Flak

    GDPR?

    The same standard for taking and storing fingerprints should apply to face recognition, DNA or any other biometric data.

    For fingerprints and DNA, a proper sample can be taken only with the knowledge (not necessarily willing consent) of the subject. For face recognition and some other biometric data this can be done remotely without the knowledge and consent of the subject.

    Under GDPR legislation this should be considered to be personal data with all the protection this is designed to entail and prevent intrusive face recognition being applied.

    100% false positives means it is pretty worthless (at the moment) anyway!

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: GDPR?

      You're assuming here that the police don't illegally hold on to the DNA information of innocent people.

      They do.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: GDPR?

      There's a partial exception in the GDPR for police work, so standard GDPR rules may not apply.

      There's more information from the government here, but I think you'd have to be better versed in UK data legislation than me in order to make much sense of it.

    3. batfink

      Re: GDPR?

      The "100% false positives" bit will be comprehensively ignored in all government thinking about this.

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: 100% false positives"

      Isn't that ideal?

      The facial recognition says you are the villain with a 100% certainty of the match being false - that proves you are innocent !

    5. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: GDPR?

      100% false positives could be useful if you are looking for a specific person. I would expect that the first negative would be the suspect.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GDPR?

        100% false positive doesn't imply 100% false negative!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GDPR?

      Despite the brexitters rants about "taking back control", the UK governments have always done what they want anyway... But just in case they can't get away with it indefintely, why do you think they all want to leave the EU? They watch your web visits, restrict your access to legal porn, and trample all over your privacy. Thanks to brainless voters, this will only get worse if we leave.

      1. Chris Parsons

        Re: GDPR?

        That was surely the whole point of leaving, along with removing the rich from any sort of financial scrutiny.

      2. Wincerind

        Re: GDPR?

        I came here to read an article and comments about police surveillance. NOT to read another idiot's rant about Brexit.

      3. Libertarian Voice

        Re: GDPR?

        I do not think that I have ever read anything that quite so spectacularly misses the point! I mean the EU bringing in mandatory speed control technology; black box recorders and eCall notwithstanding, the whole point of leaving the EU is that we reduce the number of law makers and those that remain are far more accountable to the people that vote for them.

        Perhaps the greatest example of this in action is our current parliament. For years it has blamed the EU for every undemocratic action it has ever taken; it is completely unprepared to take responsibility for itself which is why both of the main political parties are collapsing and it is becoming seriously threatened by people and parties that are prepared to be representative (or populist as some term it).

        As we develop a more representative parliament (which granted will take time), these laws will have no place in our country, but we cannot expect this to happen over night when our parliament has used the stock excuse of "don't blame us, it is all coming from Europe" for the last 40 years.

        And if you want evidence of this, just look how scared both Labour and the Conservatives are about holding European elections!

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: GDPR?

          Much as I love the idea, you are overly optimistic in assuming that we will be allowed to "develop a more representative democracy". One of the reasons I am against leaving the EU is that it has given this country the closest thing to a written, enforceable constitution in its history. There is no way we are going to get that again any time this millennium, so all the talk about "taking back control" really just... talk.

      4. Dave 15

        Re: GDPR?

        No, it wont get worse or better. What it will mean is that HMG cant blame the EU and therefore when the idiot voters that keep putting Labout and Conservative parties in power see that those parties are full of idiots like May and Matt Hancock what to stick their ignorant 2 pennorth in and make life worse for us all, lying as they also do all the time, maybe, just maybe, those ignorant voters will put their mark elsewhere on the ballot paper (I honestly dont hold out much hope of this, my mum makes decisions based on whether the party leaders suit fits!)

        But hey ho, Brexit wont make a squat with this (unfortunately)

  3. Trollslayer Silver badge

    All that is neded for evil to succeed

    is that good does nothing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Trollslayer - Re: All that is neded for evil to succeed

      "Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." -- Dark Helmet

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Time to get a Theresa May face mask

    Police are also continuing to build giant databases full of biometrically scanned images of innocent people’s faces

    and walk round various shopping centers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to get a Theresa May face mask

      Anonymous Coward - because the mask says it all!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Time to get a Theresa May face mask

        Not sure how highly regarded Ms May is among the police.

        I suspect wearing a Theresa May mask may involve a few "accidental" shootings

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Time to get a Theresa May face mask

          Not sure how highly regarded Ms May is among the police.

          I suspect wearing a Theresa May mask may involve a few "accidental" shootings

          How many deliberate shootings - by people on themselves when they think they may've inhaled the same air she recently exhaled?

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    We are not becoming a surveilence state

    We are already there and have been for at least 20 years!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      I'd like the minister to explain his definition of a surveillance state.

      Just for the laughs.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes it effing is!

    Of course this is a surveillance state. But try film the police and see how long your rights last... Stop voting for the same idiot parties people!

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Yes it effing is!

      I voted yesterday, I could only choose between red, blue, or yellow. Hard to have any say in politics when there's no option but to choose the colour of tie the shit in power wears.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Yes it effing is!

        Better than my choice of red, blue, and purple.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Yes it effing is!

        Hard to have any say in politics when there's no option but to choose the colour of tie the shit in power wears.

        You could always stand for election yourself. No tie required.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes it effing is!

          Great idea!

          EU parliament, £5000 deposit

          UK parliament £10000 deposit

          Councillors in the UK receive a very very small allowance for the time they spend.

          Short version? You can only stand if you have the money to be able to.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Yes it effing is!

            You can only stand if you have the money to be able to.

            If you think you have a platform that people will support, raising a few thousand from potential voters shouldn't be difficult. If you can't raise it, you're clearly running on a platform people aren't interested in.

            Sure, you can pay it all yourself if you're just running for your own amusement or vanity, but that's not what elections are there to encourage.

          2. depicus

            Re: Yes it effing is!

            In order to encourage only serious candidates to stand, a £500 deposit is required when submitting the nomination papers - returned if the candidate receives over five per cent of the total votes cast.

            https://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/electing-mps/candidates/

          3. Dave 15

            Re: Yes it effing is!

            Canvas and convince enough people and you keep your deposit so gamble on yourself.

      3. Dave 15

        Re: Yes it effing is!

        Which elections in which constituency? I have not seen any elections yet where you only get the three choices, if there is why not put your own name forward and stand as an independent, its not difficult to do so and I even have.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What does Hurd rhyme with?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lemon curd

      One third

      Pretty bird

      Techie nerd

      Quite a few things it seems :-)

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Small, brown Richard III?

    2. Shasta McNasty

      Probably a rhyming dictionary

    3. Anonymous Coward
  8. jake Silver badge

    "UK is 'not a surveillance state'"

    And anybody observed suggesting otherwise will be nicked?

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: "UK is 'not a surveillance state'"

      "What's it like to live in a country with no free speech?"

      "Oh, mustn't grumble really."

    2. teebie

      Re: "UK is 'not a surveillance state'"

      No, just photographed and maybe nicked later as a result.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: "UK is 'not a surveillance state'"

        Put on a list, certainly. It will crop up the next time you renew a passport or something.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: "UK is 'not a surveillance state'"

          Put on a list, certainly. It will crop up the next time you renew a passport or something.

          Saw that on my nephew's stuff once. Police check when applying for a job.

          A list of dates, "charged with", and the crimes the scumbags falsely charged him with.

          Not one mention of the outcomes, charges either dropped or found "not guilty" at trial. Some of the charges were, shall we say, "forcibly dropped" at the beak's insistence.

          They love pointing out someone was "investigated", "interviewed in connection with" (ie they were the main witness but the police took a dislike to you since you didn't say everything they "encouraged" you to say - so they word things to make it sound like you were guilty or an accomplice), and if they really want to cause upset "charged with..." even though they dismiss the charges before they get to court it stays on your record and there is no need for them to declare the results. They don't ever say "We knew this was bogus therefore dropped the charges", they just say "we charged him with carnal knowledge of the neighbour's rooster" or some other fluff.

          Amazing what harm a few little words can do :(

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    without individuals really knowing it is happening

    and when they find out and take countermeasures... BANG! - stopped, searched, fingerprinted and fined. And, no doubt, dna sampled and put on various, unspecified databased for the rest of your life. For your own good, of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: without individuals really knowing it is happening

      well, clearly, if you see information that you're going to be filmed and you turn away or pull over a coat over your face, YOU'VE GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE. Which is more than good enough as "reasonable suspicion" for cops to stop you. The government knows the resistance is futile and they carry on with full awareness people can do _nothing_ about it.

      As to the minister's 'not a surveillance state' response, it's got no weight whatsoever. It's the usual parliementary game of farts, i.e. the opposition send a fart to score a point or two and show they're doing their job and hopefully, stay for the next term, and your job, as a minister, is to send another boring, predicatable fart in reply, never mind any links to facts, next! After all, with all you mugs happily giving up so much personal data to facebook, etc., because FREE!!!!, no government needs to worry about public backlash which might convert into mild risk at the election ballot box. People will always get fucked while on their back thinking of England.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heathrow

    last week there was a a hurrah-spiel on the beeb that soon you'll be able to board a plane at Heathrow WITHOUT [showing] YOUR PASSPORT, because of all that hi-tec, revolutionary, breakthrough, super-cool, money-time-stress saving FACE RECOGNITION technology, fuck YEAH!

    And, when you think of it, why not? A perfect start to a trial mass surveillance, because of the sheer volume of bodies and because only a tiny number would object (and then you can claim "the public was overwhelmingly in support"). And with the juicy PB of data available to the appropriate gov bodies, you expand the system, cross-referencing with mass-transport face recognition system (think of the children! think of the terrorists!) and street cameras. I'm sure Chines friends would be able to suggest how to improve the system, like making life difficult for those deemed "not yet compliant with state regulations". And why not combine it with the Russian model already in place, i.e. unpaid debt - no travel abroad. It is very likely I'll live till the point when "1984" becomes a very much outdated and faded blueprint. Love the State as much as the State loves You!

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Heathrow

      To get better compliance, you have lots of queues that use scanners and nearly none (working) for those that want to opt-out.

      Anyplace there is a choke point will be fitted with cameras and scanners.

      The data formats will be antiquated and well documented (there will be documents for the companies bidding that specify all aspects of how the data will be managed). Some gov worker will one day be taking home a laptop/tablet with millions of people's information and it will be stolen from that worker's car as they stop to ___________________. Usually, they are stopping at a church and they will have left the device in plain view on a seat. The info will get sold to commercial entities which have their own scanning network in shops, car parks, etc and can combine the government data for a more accurate fix on who they are scanning. In return, the government can subpoena that information and get a wider picture of anybody they like whether they are on public or private property. Add to that the spy devices that people have paid for and fitted themselves and it's "A Brave New World".

  11. iron Silver badge

    Dear Nick Hurd, you're either lying or very, very stupid.

    1. IanTP

      So, not both then...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      The two are not mutually exclusive.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The shopping centre could try a very simple test. Put up a conspicuous notice at each entrance to say the police will be recording the face of everyone who enters but "if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear". Then see what happens to footfall.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Then see what happens to footfall.

      Probably nothing much. Most ordinary folks don't care, any more than they care about letting Facebook sell their personal details.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Most ordinary folks don't care"

        Most people don't know the difference between secrecy and privacy.

        There will be a vague "I don't like it" and, perhaps, they won't shop there that day, but pretty soon they'll be back because the shop is walking distance from their flat and they can't be bothered to go out of their way for just some eggs. Before long, they will have conditioned their brain to just ignore the notice anytime they see it.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Probably nothing much. "

        Maybe. But they have enough problems without taking that risk. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48145556

  13. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I can provide a system that achieves a 100% false positive rate for much less money

    > deployments by London’s Met Police in the Westfield Stratford shopping centre resulted in a 100 per cent false positive rate.

    [see title]

    1. Timarzi

      Re: I can provide a system that achieves a 100% false positive rate for much less money

      It would probably be quite difficult to guarantee that rate consistently. You might do well to go the 99.9% of germs route.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the country that now requires rape victims' phones to be forensically examined before they can press charges?

    Yeah, it's a surveillance state.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "forensically" sounds like hyperbole. However, I believe the reason is that some people have claimed rape only for it to emerge that messages they had sent showed that they had consented to the encounter. I seem to remember in one case messages showed that the complainant had a history of this behaviour.

      I understand that it is distressing for genuine victims but allowing people to make false allegations just creates a new set of victims.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Consent can be withdrawn...

        Saying that an encounter had been planned to be consensual does not mean it continued that way

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Good luck in proving that!

          Perhaps we should educate the next generation to sign sexual contracts and film the event?

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            I didn’t say it was trivial to prove.

            I said consent can be withdrawn, so even proof of intended consent isn’t proof of consent.

            The burden of proof in rape cases is difficult - because I don’t think we should lower the burden of proof it in many cases the nature of the act means it is difficult to prove what actually happened.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Believe it or not there are plenty of other approaches that can tackle this problem you mention. But they might add 0.01% to the police budget requirement so Theresa May would rather just invade the privacy of vulnerable people.

        P.S. I think you mean 'overly dramatic' - it's not hyperbole if it's factually correct.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "I understand that it is distressing for genuine victims but allowing people to make false allegations just creates a new set of victims."

        False allegations also make it more difficult for real victims. That was the case 40 years and more ago and no doubt still is. It looks as if we've been through a period where allegations were looked at less sceptically than previously and that resulted in a number of cases collapsing so we're now seeing a reaction to that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: This is the country that now requires rape victims' phones to be forensically examined ...

      No. You need to vary your sources a bit.

      There is simply new paperwork to standardise existing stuff regarding permissions, changing nothing. And the thing that doesn't change is that sometimes without mobile evidence (texts etc) a case cannot be proven, so permission is requested. It is not a requirement to start a case, and not used unless it becomes needed further down the line.

      So no change other than a standard form instead of ad-hoc per-force efforts. Also, not targeting rape victims or any other specific crime type, just a general permissions form.

      I'm not saying it is right or wrong, just that it has not changed other than the paperwork. Stop believing sensationalist press items.

    3. Cederic Bronze badge

      The problem is that 399 out of every 400 men has never committed rape, so any rape accusation against them is inherently false.

      It's important that this vast majority of men is allowed to defend themselves against the malicious, wrongful or misplaced accusations that would otherwise ruin their lives.

      I fully support gentle and understanding treatment for victims of rape, but I also demand justice for victims of false rape accusations.

  15. Peter Prof Fox

    Ankle-tag every policeman

    And store the data for fifty years. Just in case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ankle-tag every policeman

      ...and politicians.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100 per cent false positive rate

    If it doesn't work then why can I go through passport control using facial recognition? Someone isn't telling the truth here.

    1. The Mole

      Re: 100 per cent false positive rate

      Passport control is much much simpler, you've got one stored photo (based on the passport being presented) and are comparing it to another live photo all the computer needs to do is be 90% sure it is a match (or pick your own tollerance). You also have to look at the camera just the right way, with perfect lighting, possibly no glasses, definitely no hats etc.

      In comparison trying to match thousands of moving people wearing anything against hundreds of pictures, both of which might be poor quality is a really really hard problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 100 per cent false positive rate

        Good point. What about if you had two pictures with cameras in? One of a cute cat and one of a cute dog and signs saying "Look at the cute cat/dog" Then everyone would look at the camera thus solving the problem.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: 100 per cent false positive rate

        There should also be the airline data of who is on a flight so the system isn't trying to match loads of people, just a plane load. If they can't get a match, the person can be diverted to a human Checker.

        I have no doubt that a system can be designed and built that works very well for something like customs and border checks, but mission creep rears its ugly head and it will be deployed everywhere else. Why shouldn't court houses and the Tube system be just as secure (although "secure" is fungible)?

        I had a customs agent in NY spend so much time grilling me on why I'd want to take a holiday in Prague that coupled with the hour it took to get my bag, I missed my connecting flight to Los Angeles. Little things like this done randomly will have lots of sheep baaaing for an automated system. The less human contact the better it seems these days. Look at how many people will rub their thumbs raw texting and never think to call when somebody doesn't get right back to them.

      3. Dave 15

        Re: 100 per cent false positive rate

        One which mobile phone manufactures have fixed already, you can find your friends in photos already. Its not actually that difficult

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 100 per cent false positive rate

      "If it doesn't work then why can I go through passport control using facial recognition?"

      And how does it work in passport control when you aren't quite standing in the right place or facing the right way or the suns reflecting off your glasses/sunglasses?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK public: "blah, blah, outrage, police state etc."

    Also UK public when there's a crime in their area: "Bah, CCTV is rubbish, you can't see the offenders. String 'em up etc."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Homogenised Populace?

      The UK public is one homogenous blob, with a hive mind?

      Or you'd like it to be that way?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Homogenised Populace?

        "The UK public is one homogenous blob, with a hive mind?"

        Just the tabloids.

    2. Dave 15

      Thats not all that contradictory

      The police manage to put up millions of spy cameras and then claim they are not on, are not working properly, are unable to identify perpetrators. Why are the police spending millions of my pounds on crap that doesnt work.... or are they downright lying about them not working? Given the police are massively lazy about actually investigating any crime I suspect they are downright lying about how ineffective these cameras are.

      So I conclude they are effective and are spying on us but dont want us to know which makes it even more suspicious. Do I trust our police? Not a chance, you only have to look at the number of times they have been caught lying and killing innocent people.

  18. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    "Any government,” Hurd boasted, “would want to support their police system in making the best use of technology to protect the public and catch criminals"

    As far as I know they aren't catching more criminals than they did when Dixon was on his low-tech beat in Dock Green.

    1. Dave 15

      basically because

      They are too lazy.

      My son was attacked in daylight near home, after sorting an ambulance I phoned the police, they were too busy right up until I said I would go and deal with it where upon 2 cars with 4 police were suddenly available.

  19. Iain
    Big Brother

    Image quality is inversely proportional to the seriousness being CCTV'd

    A serious crime on Crimewatch will have been perpetrated by a fuzzy blob

    Before they stopped the scam of enforcing minor motoring offences by CCTV, we were furnished with crystal clear, high quality footage of our serious infractions of stopping on a single yellow for five minutes (inconviencing no-one), along with the demand for a fine

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Doh

    You can have any camera you like, so long as it's not Huawei.

    Whoops, wrong story!

  21. JohnFen Silver badge

    It sure looks like it

    From my outsider's point of view, the UK became a surveillance state rather a long time ago, just as the US did.

  22. Floydian Slip
    Boffin

    IR iirc

    If I remember correctly, a couple of infra-red LEDs worn at about forehead level are enough to blow out the vision of most CCTV cameras. Being IR, it's not so obvious as walking around with a bright torch strapped to your head, well until the CCTV watchers vector the police to you cos I'm not sure of the legality.

    Amazon do a 3w IR Torch for about a tenner. https://amzn.to/2H0w9Tw

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IR iirc

      Couple of IR LEDs fitted either side of a pair of specs, wired to an old phone battery, appropriate resistors between. I am now invincible!

      Err, maybe...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, I am Supermarionation!

        I think you mean "I am Joe 90"

        FTFY

        <cue Vic Flick guitar theme music!>

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: IR iirc

      That can work, but it won't work on all cameras, and it's easy to get it wrong. For instance, I think you'll need more than a couple of IR LEDs. If you go this route, be sure to test it thoroughly before thinking that it is doing what you want.

    3. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: IR iirc

      I can't see what law you would be breaking by wearing such a device.

      Perhaps combining it with a cap with some LEDs around the peak as and the battery could be under the cap for easy of use.

      I am sure you would sell loads of them for the next festival where the police are going to use facial recognition tech.

    4. Dave 15

      Re: IR iirc... oh no, we are all in trouble

      According to UK government recent new laws we can all be thrown in clink for looking at info on the internet that might potentially aid terrorists. Given that blanking out CCTV cameras obviously falls into that category now we have read your post we are all guilty and ready to be dragged away and subjected to the full rubber glove treatment.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    David Bowie Suggested A Way To Defeat Facial Recognition....

    .....and that way the failure rate can go way above 100%.....

    But maybe our STASI leaders Theresa and Jeremy (Fleming) and Cressida will be trying to make face paint illegal.

    Just saying!

    https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Aladdin-Sane/716436/3655330/view

  24. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

    Hmm

    Lets all buy shirts like these and see how facial recognition handles it:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/tKNpWYhb8d4RC8gq8

  25. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Jim Shannon: [...] is guilty of many human rights abuses.”

    Is he talking about China or the UK here? I'm confused.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Trust . . . . has plummeted for many other traditional institutions. . ."

    So strange that he doesn't give any examples here - I can think of one without any effort whatsoever.

    There are Liars, Damned Liars, and Politicians.

  27. N2 Silver badge

    UK is not a surveillance state?

    Pull the other one.

    The louder you shout, the less we believe you - actions speak louder than words.

  28. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    False positives

    "deployments by London’s Met Police in the Westfield Stratford shopping centre resulted in a 100 per cent false positive rate."

    Dear citizen, we are proud to mention some new rules that have just been made law:

    • Everyone will be required to go about their business with a plain facial expression, and mouth closed at all times.
    • Glasses (if used) will need to be worn.
    • Citizens must always be in front of a plain cream or light grey backround, and not have red-eye (if you're hungover, consider yourself under house-arrest)
    • Eyes must always be open, and hair must never cover your face.
    • Finally, do not appear in public in close proximity to other citizens.

    These laws are for your own benefit, because errm Huawei, terrorists, and thinking of the children.

  29. edris90

    Problem with surveillance is its almost always used to gain unfair advantage.

    if everybody can surveil anybody at any time ,anonymously , without censor surveillance could be justified. That would level the playing field.

    Because then no one would have any advantage over anyone else.

    anyting one part of society has .all the rest of society should have in order to maintain balance of power, and natural motivation to tread lightly when doing anything that can affect others.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      where are my nukes!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Masks

    Auto changing masks

  31. Dave 15

    We have been for years now and its getting more intrusive

    I think it is true if you look at any state, the more the gulf between the tiny % at the very top of assets and the rest of us grows the more they feel the need to monitor the plebs and to stamp hard on any uprising that threatens their lavish and unwarranted lifestyle. I know the Notre Dam thing in France was bad (how come the idiots restoring these places dont have fire extinquishers on site... did they not learn from Windsor) but to find the very very very rich able to just dig into their pockets for billions to rebuild it while there are people relying on foodbanks, living outside under cardboard or in 3rd world countries starving to death has to be disgusting and the only way to support this is a police state to keep us in our place.

  32. Dave 15

    We could all turn into muslims and

    Probably politically incorrect but we could go around with a full face veil, a large shapeless dress/cover whatever the women call it. Its good enough to prevent men letching after them and also good enough to get around the cameras

  33. JoMe

    "Trust us"

    Hah. Yeah, thanks, pass on that.

  34. tallenglish

    Let us be honest, the UK is guilty of many human rights abuses.

    Easy fix - and the Goverment won't like it, but can't do anything about it.

    Everyone needs to wear a burka, screw facial recognition and if anyone complains you can cry foul and say its part of your religion.

    Or if your brave, wear a balaclava instead - aka the Irish burka.

    If your really brave, wear a clown mask - everyone will likely run away and you can beat the crowds as a two-for.

    Or wear the guy fawkes mask to make a point while your at it.

    I just wish there was a real Rorschach mask - that would be cool.

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