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UK police arrest three people by using facial recognition in central London

Using facial recognition technology, the Metropolitan Police of London arrested three suspects as part of an ongoing work to tackle violent crime in Westminster.

After deploying Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology, the police arrested two men and one woman in Central London.

A 28-year-old man was arrested for being wanted on a warrant for assault on an emergency worker. A 23-year-old woman arrested for being wanted for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. A 29-year-old man was arrested for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of Class A drugs, and failures to appear in court.

"Our use of Live Facial Recognition technology has directly helped us to arrest three wanted individuals, and officers have been able to successfully remove them from our streets," Detective Chief Superintendent Owain Richards, from the Central West Basic Command Unit, which covers Westminster, said.

The police also said it undertook testing of LFR algorithms with the National Physical Laboratory alongside the deployment to understand the technology's accuracy and bias better and to use facial recognition technology legally and fairly.

Controversial technology

And while the Metropolitan Police of London praises the technology for helping to tackle violent crime, human rights organizations and lawmakers worldwide call for the technology ban.

On Wednesday, US Senator Edward J. Markey released the latest findings from his probe into Amazon doorbell company Ring. Amazon acknowledged it had shared camera footage with law enforcement without the user's consent on 11 occasions this year, believing there was imminent danger of severe injury or death.

Senator Markey and Jeff Merkley, alongside congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, introduced the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act that would prohibit the use of biometric technology by federal agencies and condition federal grant funding to state and local entities on moratoria on the use of biometric technology.

The EU privacy watchdog also called for the ban of facial recognition technology, naming its "deep and non-democratic intrusion" into people's private lives.

According to activists, biometric mass surveillance, including facial and emotion recognition, is widespread throughout Europe and is a major human rights violation.

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