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Survey reveal disquiet over facial recognition technology

Research finds that people are in Britain are concerned at the use of facial recognition technology by the police.

The survey, conducted by the Ada Lovelace Institute with YouGov, found that more than half of people in the UK want the government to curb the use of this technology by the police.

The research found that 55 percent of those questioned want restrictions imposed on how the police use this technology, while almost a third said they were uncomfortable with the police using this technology at all.

However, almost 50 percent said that the use of technology, with proper safeguards, was acceptable.

The findings come after South Wales Police won a court action that sought to prevent their use of the technology while a property company in London's Kings Cross announced that it would stop using facial recognition technology.

That decision has been welcomed and the survey suggests that people are very concerned at the use of this technology by private companies. From shops to public transport a sizeable majority - between 60-70 percent - said they didn't want the technology to be used.

The government and companies need to act, according to Carly Kind, the Ada Lovelace director and she suggests that the UK isn't ready for this type of technology.

Whether that's true, or not, a more informed discussion about the use and benefits of facial recognition technology, along with any limitations and necessary safeguards, is required.

Neil Tyler

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