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Automated Facial Recognition in the UK – Government refers to industry guidance

By Bobby Kelly, Independent Journalist. Last edited: 12:10pm. 25/10/2021.


The Home Office published it’s approach to the ethical and legal use of automated facial recognition today, and has referred to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) guide published in January 2021.


In the guide it states “There is no single global ethical framework for the safe use of AI, therefore we refer to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) recommendations which identify five complementary values-based
principles for the responsible stewardship of trustworthy AI”.

The OECD recommendations are as follows:

  • AI should benefit people and the planet by driving inclusive growth,

    sustainable development and wellbeing.

  • AI systems should be designed in a way that respects the rule of law,

    human rights, democratic values and diversity, and they should include

    appropriate safeguards, e.g. enabling human intervention where necessary to ensure a fair and just society.

  • There should be transparency and responsible disclosure around AI systems to ensure that people understand AI-based outcomes and can challenge them.

  • AI systems must function in a robust, secure and safe way throughout their life cycles and potential risks should be continually assessed and managed.

  • Organisations and individuals developing, deploying or operating AI systems should be held accountable for their proper functioning in line with the above principles.

This comes not long after the European Union implemented the Artificial Intelliegience Act, a piece of legislation that aims at regulating what is still an emerging technology, whilst banning the use of AI for remote biometric identification purposes by law enforcement in publicly accessible spaces, unless certain requirements are met.

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