New Police Policy Could Put Innocent People on Watchlists

New Police Policy Could Put Innocent People on Watch Lists

( – Greater accountability and oversight should accompany technological advancements, correct? Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, as evidenced by a recent push in the United Kingdom (UK) to put innocent people on facial recognition watchlists.

On Tuesday, March 22, the UK’s College of Policing (CoP) published a new professional practice guidance designed to ensure law enforcement officials in England and Wales “take a consistent approach” to using live facial recognition software systems to detect and prevent criminal activity.

Alarmingly, the guidance lays out the framework for installing live cameras in both public and private spaces to monitor individuals listed in law enforcement databases. Although the guidance directs law enforcement agencies to follow strict criteria before placing an individual’s image in a database, the practice has raised alarms among groups defending the public’s right to privacy.

For example, Silkie Carlo, the head of Big Brother Watch, recently told reporters the CoP’s guidance operated as an “atrocious policy and a hammer blow to privacy and liberty.” She also warned the new policy could pave the way for the placement of innocent individuals on facial recognition watchlists.

Making matters worse, this Orwellian technology could make its way overseas to America, and arguably, it already has. Law enforcement officials have used facial recognition systems in Las Vegas and other cities for years.

Does the expanded use of facial recognition systems in America concern you?

Copyright 2022,