The London police announced Friday that they would install facial recognition cameras in the city within a month. This should reduce crime in the city, but privacy organizations also see disadvantages.
BBC News writes that the cameras are installed in places where many tourists and shopping people come. At those places it is made clear that they are hanging there. It is not clear how many cameras were involved initially.
According to police, the technique is used to tackle "serious crime". This includes violence and child abuse. If the cameras record something that is potentially dangerous, the police will get a signal to view the situation. Agents decide for themselves what they do with the information.
The cameras can check whether someone is in a database of wanted criminals. If someone from the database is recognized on the street, the police can ask for his or her identity. If the scan matches the person searched for, the person can be arrested.
Not everyone is positive about the system. Privacy organization Big Brother Watch tells BBC News that these cameras are "a serious threat to civilian freedom".