Tuesday 3 September 2019 11:45 am

King’s Cross facial recognition technology ‘not used since 2018’

Facial recognition technology has not been used at King’s Cross since March 2018, the site’s developers have insisted.

Property development firm Argent, which is overseeing a regeneration project on the 67-acre site, was forced to defend its use of the controversial technology last month amid concerns about privacy and personal data.

Read more: King’s Cross defends use of facial recognition technology

Argent said facial recognition systems were used to “protect the privacy of the general public”.

However, the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) has now stated that there were just two cameras in a single location, and that they were only operational between May 2016 and March 2018.

The organisation said the cameras were used only to assist the police in detecting and preventing crime, and that the data was deleted regularly. 

However, both the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police have reportedly said they were unaware of any police involvement.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has raised concerns about the use of cameras at King’s Cross, and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last month launched a probe into the matter.

Read more: EU considers giving citizens explicit rights over facial recognition data

“I remain deeply concerned about the growing use of facial recognition technology in public spaces, not only by law enforcement agencies but also increasingly by the private sector,” information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement.

KCCLP said it had been considering plans to reintroduce facial recognition technology at the site, but these proposals have now been scrapped.

Main image credit: Getty