UK To Require Migrants With Criminal Records To Wear Facial Recognition Watches

The Home Office and the UK Department of Justice plan to require migrants with a criminal record to wear watches with facial recognition to track them. The Guardian writes about it.

As conceived by officials, the devices can take up to five pictures daily and send data to law enforcement officers and geolocation. It is only about foreigners convicted of a criminal offense.

Authorities called for “daily monitoring of persons subject to immigration control.” They suggested that all such arrivals in the UK wear ankle bracelets or smartwatches.

In May 2022, the British government awarded Buddi Limited a £6m contract. The firm has developed a bracelet to monitor elderly people in danger of falling. The same company will probably create a device for law enforcement officers to take pictures for further scanning.

Lawyers criticized the proposals of the authorities. According to Monish Bhatt, a professor of criminology at Birkbeck, University of London, the Home Office does not yet know how long people will remain under surveillance.

“They did not provide any evidence to show the need for electronic monitoring, or demonstrate that the tags make people better comply with immigration laws. We need humane, non-degrading solutions at the community level,” he said.

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