In June 2020 Big Brother Watch, a British nonprofit civil liberties and privacy organisation, published a briefing discussing facial recognition surveillance.
The document includes a section on over-policing related to the use of this technology by the London Metropolitan Police. Big Brother Watch, in fact, has witnessed incidents in which innocent crowd members have been misidentified, stopped and searched, including a 14-year-old black boy in a school uniform.
'The 14-year-old was misidentified by the facial recognition system. He was subsequently surrounded by four police officers. He was dragged to a side street, his arms were held, he was interrogated, asked for his phone and was fingerprinted. He was released after
ten minutes when the police realised they had the wrong person. The child appeared frightened and said he felt harassed by the police. The events were recorded on video.
The Metropolitan Police admitted that their facial recognition technology highlights significant gender biases, misidentifying women at higher rates than men. Despite this, they continue to use the technology operationally.
It should be noted that even if live facial recognition technology improved in terms of overall accuracy and demographics, it remains a great harm to civil liberties, dangerously imbalancing power between citizen and state, and poses a fundamental threat to the right to privacy."