UK govt challenged over delayed face recognition strategy
21 December 2017 17:06 GMT

Senior UK politicians have taken aim at the British government's failure to develop a biometrics strategy for law enforcement.

Writing to the minister for countering terrorism, the chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Norman Lamb MP, has requested "full clarity on what areas the strategy will cover, and the reasons for the continuing delay".

He previously told Sky News that there were "genuine and legitimate concerns that we might not have the balance right" when it came to the technology.

The Liberal Democrat described the five years of delay in the publication of the Biometrics Strategy as "intolerable" after ministers announced it would remain unpublished in 2017.

Facial recognition technology which can identify individuals from live CCTV footage is increasingly being used by police forces across the UK, despite fears regarding the legality of such surveillance.

Biometrics Commissioner Professor Wiles told Sky News he believed "it really is urgent for the Government to publish that strategy" or "police holdings will go on increasing, and I think there's a real danger that will undermine confidence in policing".