The British Surveillance Camera Commissioner releases guidance for police use of Live Facial Recognition


On 3 December 2020, the British Surveillance Camera Commissioner issued its best practice guidance on the use of Live Facial Recognition (“LFR”).

This guidance aims to assist the police forces in England and Wales on how to comply with their statutory obligations while operating or intending to operate overt surveillance camera systems in public places, together with LFR technology to locate persons who are on the watchlist.

In particular, the guidance addresses, among other things, the applicable legal framework, principles of necessity and proportionally, and obligation to carry out risk assessments.

It is the first guidance to be released since the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the case of Bridges v. South Wales Police. The High Court ruled that the South Wales Police’s use of LFR was in accordance with the law, but this was later overturned by the Court of Appeal.

The full press release is available here, and the guidance is available here.