BBC Newsnight: ‘Innocent people’ on police photos database

A special BBC Newsnight report says:

Police forces in England and Wales have uploaded up to 18 million “mugshots” to a facial recognition database – despite a court ruling it could be unlawful.

They include photos of people never charged, or others cleared of an offence, and were uploaded without Home Office approval, Newsnight has learned.

Photos of “hundreds of thousands” of innocent people may be on the database, an independent commissioner said.

Liberal Democrat MPs are complaining about the development:

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office minister, David Laws, has written to the Home Office saying he is “alarmed” by the development, Newsnight has learned.

He has demanded urgent action to regulate the use of the database.

“I share the commissioner’s concerns that this database will include images of individuals who have never been convicted of a recordable offence,” he said.

…Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat former Home Office minister, said police “ought to have stopped and asked themselves what they were doing and if it had public support”.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • cllr Nick Cotter 4th Feb '15 - 9:46pm

    Now this really really is BIG BROTHER STUFF, what with Automatic Number Plate Recognition, more CCTV Cameras than anywhere else in the world ??

    Where are the Lib Dem Civil Rights commentators on this article ??

    Nick Cotter, Solicitor, Criminal Defence Higher Courts Advocate.

  • cllr Nick Cotter 4th Feb ’15 – 9:46pm
    “…Where are the Lib Dem Civil Rights commentators on this article ?? ,

    Nick Cotter, where-ever they are the ” facial recognition database ” will find them.

  • cllr Nick Cotter 4th Feb '15 - 10:46pm

    Indeed John !!!

    Will a Beard (and Sandals) Defeat this Dastardly Plan though ??? !!!

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