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UK police and companies must stop using live facial recognition for public surveillance, politicians and campaigners have said.

The technology allows faces captured on CCTV to be checked in real time against watch lists, often compiled by police.

Privacy campaigners say it is inaccurate, intrusive and infringes on an individual’s right to privacy.

But its makers say it helps protect the public as it can catch people like terror suspects in a way police cannot.

A letter, written by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, has been signed by more than 18 politicians, including David Davis, Diane Abbott, Jo Swinson and Caroline Lucas. Twenty-five campaign groups including Amnesty International and Liberty, plus academics and barristers also signed.

They argue facial recognition is being adopted in the UK before it has been properly scrutinised by politicians.

The director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme: “What we’re doing is putting this to government to say: ‘Please can we open this debate and have this conversation.

“‘But for goodness sake, while it is going on, there is now a surveillance crisis on our hands that needs to be stopped urgently’.” Read more

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