Face-scanning CCTV approved for London hot-spots despite privacy storm

" Surveillance cameras equipped with face detection technology have been approved for some of London’s premier cultural and shopping destinations, the Evening Standard has learned.

The Barbican arts complex, Liberty department store and the Hay’s Galleria mall near London Bridge are among sites that have won planning consent to install state-of-the-art CCTV systems. It has led to calls for firms to be more “up front” about telling people how their data is used and stored.

Details of the new equipment emerged after a privacy row last month over the facial recognition software being used at the 67-acre King’s Cross development “in the interest of public safety”.

Further records from Southwark show Hay’s Galleria was given permission to install a panoramic smart camera equipped with face detection and a “multiple targets tracking algorithm”.

Face detection is the ability of a camera to pick out faces in a crowd, while facial recognition uses biometric analysis to establish who the face belongs to by cross referencing with a database. Hay’s Galleria declined to comment."

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