STOP mass facial recognition surveillance

by Big Brother Watch in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

STOP mass facial recognition surveillance

Total raised £6,233

£15,000 target 4 days left
41% 236 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 21st June 2024 at 10:32pm

Join the fight to roll back live facial recognition cameras in the UK and give legal support to people falsely flagged as criminals

by Big Brother Watch in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Facial recognition cameras are being rolled out in the UK, posing one of the greatest threats to privacy in living memory. We need your help to stop it


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Join the fight to STOP the unprecedented expansion of facial recognition surveillance in the UK.

With every penny donated, we're building a powerful national campaign - and taking groundbreaking legal action to roll back Orwellian facial recognition.

In recent months, the Met Police has increased live facial recognition snooping on the public by 1,000% - and it's still expanding. Meanwhile, the Government is putting all of our passport photos in a giant facial recognition database - and shops are putting live facial recognition cameras on doorways, checking shoppers' identities. 

By putting these cameras on our high streets, we're all being treated like suspects in a digital police line-up, with our photos taken for repeated identity checks - often without us even realising it. 

It also puts us all at risk of misidentifications and false accusations - and we can't let this happen. 

We now stand ready to take the first legal action in Europe on behalf of two innocent members of the public who were wrongly accused of being criminals in public following facial recognition misidentifications. 

This won't be easy - and we can't do it without your support.

No other democracy in the world is using live facial recognition cameras in this draconian way. We have to stop this - before it's too late.

With your support, we'll:

  • Take groundbreaking legal action against police and shops' use of facial recognition

  • Demand politicians roll back live facial recognition

  • Give legal advice & support to people affected by live facial recognition

YOU could be next...

People up and down the country are being forced to prove that they are not criminals as a result of Orwellian live facial recognition.

This is a dangerous reversal of the presumption of innocence - the foundation of our democracy and freedom. 

They include Shaun, a community worker who was stopped on the street, interrogated for almost half an hour and threatened with arrest following a facial recognition misidentification by the Metropolitan Police.

He was walking home from a patrol with Street Fathers, a community group that provides a positive male presence for young people and takes knives off the streets. As Shaun said, "instead of working to get knives off the streets like I do, they were wasting their time with technology when they knew it had made a mistake".

With your support, he'll take the Metropolitan Police to court in a joint legal challenge with the director of Big Brother Watch, demanding that the police roll back live facial recognition.

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Another victim is 'Sara' (not her real name), a teenager who was falsely flagged by a facial recognition camera in Home Bargains.

She was wrongly called a criminal whilst doing her shopping, searched, forced to leave the store and wrongly told she was banned from shops and supermarkets using this technology up and down the country.

The shop admitted they got it wrong - but took no action to stop shoppers being scanned and falsely accused in future. They're still using the live facial recognition cameras.

Shaun and Sara sought our help - and we helped them tell their stories to the nation on BBC Newsnight. 

Now, we need YOUR support to stop this Orwellian nightmare for all of us.

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This is why we need to STOP this

Police and private companies in the UK are increasingly using facial recognition, turning our faces into barcodes. 

The technology works by creating a 'faceprint' of everyone who passes in front of a camera — taking data as sensitive as our passport photos, often without our knowledge or consent. 

There are 6+ million surveillance cameras in the UK, making us one of the most watched nations in the world - vast number of cameras could be ‘modernised’ with life facial recognition software, turning us into walking ID cards and resulting in intrusion on a scale never before contemplated in a democracy.

This dangerously authoritarian surveillance is a threat to our privacy and freedoms — it has no place on the streets of Britain.

Our campaign - next steps

By backing our campaign, you can make the difference between whether we become a dystopian surveillance state or not.

You can help Shaun and Sara take pioneering legal challenges against the police and retailers to roll back live facial recognition cameras. This legal action could make all the difference, and we'll keep you updated every step of the way.

Last year we brought together 180 tech experts and 65 Parliamentarians calling for an immediate stop to live facial recognition surveillance. We forced changes around the use of live facial recognition in the private retail sector and launched a report on facial recognition, Biometric Britain, in Parliament. 

Your support makes the difference. 

We're on the precipice of huge technological change. This isn't a time to stand by - it's a time to take action.

By supporting this campaign today, you'll be part of the fight back and give us the best chance of rolling back facial recognition surveillance - protecting privacy for a generation.

About us

Big Brother Watch is a UK civil liberties campaign group fighting for a free future. We’re determined to reclaim our privacy and defend freedoms at this time of enormous technological change. We've won David v Goliath fights with your support before, and we will again. We fight to win.

We’re a fiercely independent, diverse, non-partisan and non-profit group of campaigners and researchers, who work to roll back the surveillance state and protect rights in parliament, the media, and the courts if we have to. We publish unique investigations and pursue powerful public campaigns to pursue real change. We work relentlessly to inform and empower the public to collectively reclaim privacy, defend our civil liberties, and protect freedoms for the future.

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