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Jonathan Djanogly urges the Government to be proactive and legislate for future technologies

27th January 2020

Speaking in response to a Government statement on police use of automated facial recognition surveillance, Jonathan Djanogly calls on the Government to get ahead of the curve and put in place a legal framework that envelops all new technologies.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)

There are clearly data privacy and human rights issues bound up with facial recognition technology, which I admit will be very useful for solving crimes. However, technology moves on quickly, and it is my understanding that bodily recognition is already being developed, in which faces will not actually count as the cameras will look at people’s movement. Are we not just behind the curve on all this? As a Parliament, should we not be looking to put in place a framework that will envelop all the new technologies as they move on, rather than being one step behind? I think we should be doing a little bit more, proactively.

Kit Malthouse

My hon. Friend raises an extremely important and useful point. He is quite right that the acceleration of technology needs to be embraced by the House in a way that perhaps it has not been in the past. Both he and I stood on a manifesto that contained a commitment to the enabling of technology in a strict and controlled legal framework, and we will be thinking about that over the next few months. Some years ago, I came across a company that was working on online financial security. It had a system that identified someone not only from their password when they entered it, but from the way in which that person typed their password, because apparently the way we type is very characteristic. Those are the sorts of technologies we can deploy to great effect, but with democratic control.


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