back to article Oops, wait, yeah, we did hand over photos for King's Cross facial-recog CCTV, cops admit

London cops have admitted they gave photos of people to a property developer to use in a facial-recognition system in the heart of the UK capital. Back in July, Siân Berry, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, asked London Mayor Sadiq Khan whether the Met Police had collaborated with any retailers or other …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    targetted

    King's cross is public transport

    Most crimes are committed by members of the public

    QED

    1. batfink Bronze badge

      Re: targetted

      The surveillance in question is not happening in Kings Cross station. It's happening on private land nearby.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Your face, your ass

    What's the difference?

    Turns out it's £££

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Your face, your ass

      Are you saying we've got to contend with rectal recognition as well as facial?

      An answer wiuld be appreciated as I would like to get to the bottom of this

      1. SloppyJesse
        Pint

        Re: Your face, your ass

        Have a pint while I wipe the breakfast off my screen...

      2. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Rectal recognition

        That would mean Boris Johnson spending a lot of time in identity parades

      3. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

        Re: Your face, your ass

        Facial, faecal - what's the difference when the chance to make money is involved?

        1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Your face, your ass

          An err... rectinal scan of your brass eye... could work - but don't expect the scanner to be comfortable ...

          And to be fair to the OP, some ass pictures are also worth $$$ depending of course on the use case...

  3. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Does the private company have my consent for holding photos and/or video footage of me ?

    CPS, anyone in ?

    Icon: closest I could find to a judge.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      The ICO are investigating. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2019/08/statement-live-facial-recognition-technology-in-kings-cross/

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        I see the ICO only gets involved when it's news and a big breach, other than that they appear to not give a fuck. Reported a car ticketing company that weren't using HTTPS on their site yet requesting quite a lot of ID over their shitting web form (not my ticket).

        And while we're at it. Like has been mentioned, does the private company have permission to hold said details? They can't spout the bullshit it's for security so we have a right under GDPR to hold images. People in the area all now need to just throw loads of SAR requests at them until they give in and delete the lot.

        Have done that in a Waitrose car park. Parked, shopped, got no ticket but didn't want my plate on their database forever, the parking company. Requested under Right to be Forgotten for it to be removed. They claimed they can keep it for as long as 6 months as they use the ANPR system for CCTV security and nothing to worry about as not getting a ticket. I then pointed out GDPR states ANPR can't be used for CCTV purposes so delete the number plate now please. They did. I requested they also remove it from their backups. They've stopped replying to me now.

        :)

        I like being an annoying dick at times. Guess its why I have no friends.

        1. 's water music Silver badge
          Happy

          I like being an annoying dick at times. Guess its why I have no friends.

          I think you know that you have lots of friends here, even if they are only doing it to annoy you.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            even if they are only doing it to annoy you

            "Hurt me" said the masocist. "No" said the sadist.

        2. Woodnag

          FYI... this appears to be the requirement

          Suilvision has compiled the following points to assist in ensuring your business has guidelines to meet the new GDPR Regulations.

          ANPR recording

          All businesses will need to put a risk assessment in place to state the purpose of any ANPR Cameras on site, for example if you are placing cameras on your site to monitor vehicle movements for the purpose of security, access control, vehicle matching or statistical data gathering this will need to be recorded in your risk assessment. If you have installed an ANPR camera system to monitor employees vehicles you must inform the employee highlighting the requirement of the system.

          the right to be informed

          Signage must be visible to all persons on site stating that ANPR Cameras are in place. It should also state the purpose for the data being collected. It should also detail a contact number for anyone who requires additional details.

          request for personal data

          Anyone who has had their vehicle captured on ANPR has the right to request their personal data and to ask how their data is used by the company after it has been gathered. The company must provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge and in electronic format if requested. If other vehicles are visible in the image, image redaction should be provided i.e blur out the licence plate of the other vehicles in the image.

          assisting Police

          The Police may request data from your ANPR system to assist with their normal duties.

          Compliance

          If the ANPR companies monitor systems they act as Data Processors under GDPR. “Clients of the ANPR company should have a contract in place which details what the ANPR company may do with the data; what security standards should be in place and what verification procedures may apply.” Any subcontractors working on your behalf, e.g Security companies or Engineers must follow this procedure.

    2. jmch Silver badge
      WTF?

      "Does the private company have my consent for holding photos and/or video footage of me ?"

      Erm... every single bank, supermarket, petrol station etc etc - tons of private companies - hold video footage of you (and me and everyone else). I actually have no idea if there is any limit on how long they are allowed to keep it (it is, after all, shot on their private property). I presume that they just store it for a few weeks and then overwrite with new footage, but that's probably because they can't monetise it.

      Anyone aware of the legal standing of such footage - can it be passed on / sold on, how long it can be stored etc?

      1. Cederic Bronze badge

        They can't pass it on if it includes personally identifiable information, except to third parties processing it on behalf of the video footage owner.

        It can't be sold on if it includes personally identifiable information.

        It can be stored for as long as there is a legitimate and reasonable purpose for retaining it.

        Approximately. Pay a large consultancy a six figure sum if you'd like more information, although I strongly doubt they'll give you certainty either.

      2. Saint

        Hmmm

        How does GDPR affect things like dash-cams, helmet-cams, those video doorbells, home CCTV systems that point at the street, etc ? What about schools posting photos on twitter ? What/where are the limits ? Are they legal or can you insist that such data be deleted ?

  4. Forget It
    Big Brother

    Mug shots

    and we are

    the mugs.

  5. Chris Hills

    The remedy

    Everyone whose photo was handed over should be offered plastic surgery to have a different face.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    However, that turned out to be incorrect.

    plain English: he lied (most probably, and much less probably: he was lied to). Whichever of the two, his future in politics is bright.

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Coat

      Re: However, that turned out to be incorrect.

      "... he lied ... he was lied to ..."

      I believe the current preferred political phrasing is "he gave / was given alternative facts".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: However, that turned out to be incorrect.

        sadly (so sad!) "alternative facts" and "fake news" are terms reserved for his arch-enemy, the Man with the Orange Hairdo. Sadiq Khan is above that, he will "delegate" the bad smell, i.e. "the original information THEY provided ... was incorrect", while he, the knight in the shiny armour, has rushed to save us all: "as a matter of urgency I have asked...", etc, etc.

        p.s. no, I'm not an open or hidden supporter of that (...) across the pond, anything but. But I have heard more than enough from the current mayor of London on privacy and face recognition to distrust whatever weasel farts his office comes up with.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: However, that turned out to be incorrect.

          AC isn't for gammons to come on here with their shit stirring.

          The Met Police are notorious for not respecting the law they supposedly uphold, and there are many documented occasions where they've blatantly lied then backtracked under scrutiny.

          Until they're eliminated as the source of the misinformation I think I'll withold judgement on the Mayor.

        2. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

          Re: However, that turned out to be incorrect.

          Hey, less of the "weasel farts" - weasels have standards!

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: However, that turned out to be incorrect.

        To quote the original AC (of Saltwood) he was "economical with the actualité"

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: However, that turned out to be incorrect.

        Don't forget the inelegant weasel-word "mis-spoke".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "On Wednesday this week, the mayor revealed..."

    Good day to bury bad news?

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Sad but true...

    This is why I don't believe anything anyone in a Public position says anymore.

  9. phuzz Silver badge

    "Why don't people trust us?" say the police. Whilst also saying "you can't be trusted to know this"...

  10. Lockwood

    Transcript of the meeting after Sadiq's statement

    Sadiq Khan : Well, obviously. It was the one question today to which I could give a clear, simple, straightforward, honest answer

    MPS : Unfortunately, although the answer was indeed clear, simple and straightforward, there is some difficulty in justifiably assigning to it the fourth of the epithets you applied to the statement inasmuch as the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated is such as to cause epistemological problems of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.

    Sadiq Khan : Epistemological? What are you talking about?

    MPS : You told a lie.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Sir Humphry ? Is that you ?

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        @Pascal Monett; "Sir Humphry"

        I read that as 'Sir Humpty' what with Sadiq Khan's forehead and all.

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: Transcript of the meeting after Sadiq's statement

      >MPS : You told a lie.

      No he didn't. MPS lied to him. He reported their assurances in good faith.

  11. sabroni Silver badge

    Seriously?

    So I'm the only poster on here who thinks the Met Police lying about their behaviour is more likely that the Mayor deciding to take one for them?

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Seriously?

      No, in fact I'd almost be confident enough to add the work "certainty" in there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      As a rule of thumb, if heads roll for this in the MPS, then it was the MPS - if the MPS are blamed (as they appear to be in the current form of the answer) but no one is publicly named and shamed, it was Khan's team.

      The official record of the question and answers is here:

      https://www.london.gov.uk/questions/2019/14214#a-173230

      Given the time frame involved (~6 weeks) between the question and the original answer AND the response being provided during a relatively quiet period in the political calendar, I would suspect Khan's team rather than the police.

      If on the other hand it was the MPS that lied and timeframe/release date were coincidental, that was a brave call from the MPS given that it already had some public scrutiny in the media.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously?

        Taking about the time frame involved - it could simply be that the enquiries of the ICO at both the landlord and the MPS forced the latter to admit what they'd done. Then told the mayor that they'd 'discovered' some new info. And that's the charitable version of my line of thinking.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seriously?

          My point about the time frame was that Khan's answer wasn't off the cuff or based on partial information. It was a question that appears to have been researched and answered approximately 6 weeks later.

          If there was information outstanding, I would have expected an update that the relevant parties had been asked to provide the information.

      2. Flywheel Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        if heads roll for this in the MPS

        I don't believe heads ever roll in the MPS - they get promoted. That's probably how (Dame) Cressida Dick got where she is.

  12. Tom Paine Silver badge
    Terminator

    Funny enough....

    The site between King's Cross and St Pancras stations (they're next door to each other) is currently dominated by the naked lift cores and four huge tower cranes where work has begun on the building that will be the new UK headquarters for ... *drumroll*... Google. I'm not making this up.

    Lift cores are usually marked with the floor number to help the crane operators and steel erectors. These ones are marked with red green yallow and blue heads of the robot from the Android logo. Eurgh,

    * icon because Android, and because it just reminded me that El Reg has yet to pick up the week's biggest story in RotM news: a proposal to put AI in charge of nuclear arms ICBMs. WCPGW?? >> https://thebulletin.org/2019/08/strangelove-redux-us-experts-propose-having-ai-control-nuclear-weapons/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strangelove redux

      “[I]t may be necessary to develop a system based on artificial intelligence, with predetermined response decisions, that detects, decides, and directs strategic forces with such speed that the attack-time compression challenge does not place the United States in an impossible position.”

      They missed one key word above:

      necessary to develop a system based on artificial intelligence, with predetermined response decisions, that PREDICTS, detects, decides and directs.

      Once we get that, we're all done for as soon as the system goes live :)

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: Strangelove redux

        We can assume it will not be programmed to act like a Soviet Air Force Colonel and to implicitly trust all incoming data sources. It was failing to do that which saved us from a nuclear war. The colonel in question thought the signals were too few to be a first strike. Turned out to be sun flashes on lakes instead of missile launches.

        Would an AI react the same way? or respond with an equal response?

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Funny enough....

      > The site between King's Cross and St Pancras stations (they're next door to each other) is currently dominated by the naked lift cores and four huge tower cranes where work has begun on the building that will be the new UK headquarters for ... *drumroll*... Google. I'm not making this up.

      My tinfoil hat just rattled off my head.

      So the police hand over facial recognition pics to "the developer" who - completely coincidentally - just happens to be building new offices for Google?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Funny enough....

        "So the police hand over facial recognition pics to "the developer" who - completely coincidentally - just happens to be building new offices for Google?"

        The same developer currently renting offices to Google, as well as building a new one.

    3. Flywheel Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Funny enough....

      Blimey! Really? In that case, here's the obligatory Dark star link.

  13. cantankerous swineherd

    the police lied. again.

  14. steviebuk Silver badge

    Big...

    ...GDPR breach that one is then.

  15. John Sturdy
    Linux

    Time for some openstreetmap mapathons?

    Not that all of the cameras will necessarily be visible to the public, but people could start marking the positions of those they can spot, on openstreetmap, as described at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man_made=surveillance.

    There are already a few marked in the area: https://kamba4.crux.uberspace.de/?lat=51.5320529&lon=-0.1206259&zoom=17

    (It would be interested to seeing whether those watching the cameras will spot that people are looking for/at the cameras and making notes, or indeed whether police on the ground would spot it. I'm not sure whether this means it's better or worse to do it as an organized mapping party.)

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