DASA Plans To Use Advanced Facial Recognition Tech For Security

The UK Home Office has put out a call for new facial recognition solutions through its Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA). The intention is to refine policing methods and improve public safety. This initiative focuses on ensuring that these technologies are ethical, precise, and impartial.

A recent study by the United Kingdom’s National Physical Laboratory supports the claim that facial recognition can be free from bias when responsibly developed and configured. Professor Paul Taylor, National Policing Chief Scientific Adviser, concurs.

He argues that with strict data management protocols, transparency, and accountability, public trust can be maintained.

Deadlines and Specifications

Companies interested in this government project need to submit their proposals by midday on October 12, 2023. The specifications are stringent, focusing on responsible and ethical use. This includes data storage issues and the avoidance of demographic bias.

Civil Liberties Groups Express Concerns

Despite the government’s enthusiasm for FR, some question the wisdom of this approach. Groups such as Big Brother Watch and Liberty have expressed strong reservations.

These groups argue that the technology is intrusive and could be harmful to communities that already experience unfair police scrutiny.


Scope of Operation

All 43 police forces in England and Wales could become customers for these new FR technologies, a significant operational scale.

The government’s interest isn’t limited to real-time FR; they’re also interested in retrospective recognition, which can identify individuals after a particular event.

Legal Complications

Legal issues surrounding this new push can’t be ignored. In 2020, a Court of Appeal found that South Wales Police’s initial tests with FR were unlawful.

While the government plans to develop solid governance frameworks, the legal complexities surrounding the technology can’t be brushed aside.

Private Sector Involvement

Private companies are encouraged to develop FR solutions that meet the Home Office’s strict requirements.

These complex requirements deal with ethical considerations like data storage and the prevention of demographic bias, issues that have not been completely resolved.

Public vs Government Views

The divide between the government’s and the public’s views on this matter is evident. While the government sees FR as a vital tool for modern law enforcement, civil liberties groups see it as an overreach and an infringement of privacy rights.

The deadline for submissions is approaching fast, and it remains to be seen how the government will proceed amid increasing opposition. What’s clear is that this debate is far from its end, and legal battles are sure to continue before any large-scale roll-out.