Privacy, crime control and police use of automated facial recognition technology

Joe Purshouse, Liz Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper discusses the police use of automated facial recognition technology (FRT) as a tool of crime control and public space surveillance. It considers the legality of the police use of FRT in England and Wales, with particular reference to the fundamental rights of those who have been subject to criminal process. Drawing on relevant privacy and criminal law scholarship, this paper argues that inadequate protection has been afforded to the privacy rights, and other human rights of those subject to police FRT surveillance in public spaces in England and Wales. We therefore suggest that, if FRT is to be deployed in future, a narrower and more prescribed legal framework is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-204
Number of pages17
JournalCriminal Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • crime prevention
  • discrimination
  • facial recognition software
  • human rights
  • police powers and duties
  • prescribed by law
  • proportionality
  • right to respect for private and family life

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