Facial recognition technology continues to be trialled by police forces in the UK despite warnings of high error rates.
In the latest test, the technology is being used to scan the faces of Christmas shoppers in London, with police hoping to spot wanted criminals.
It’s the seventh time the Metropolitan Police, the UK capital’s police force, has trialled facial recognition in public.
This year, the technology is being used in Soho, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square — all major shopping areas in the heart of the city.
Cameras are fixed to lampposts or deployed on vans and use software developed by Japanese firm NEC to measure the structure of passing faces.
This scan is then compared to a database of police mugshots. The Met says a match via the software will prompt officers to examine the individual and decide whether or not to stop them.
Posters will inform the public they’re liable to be scanned while walking in certain areas, and the Met says anyone declining to be scanned “will not be viewed as suspicious.”