The UK will use smartwatches and facial recognition to monitor migrants convicted of crimes

midian182

Posts: 8,152   +97
Staff member
A hot potato: Smartwatches have come a long way in recent years. In the UK, they'll soon be used as a way to track migrants who have been convicted of a criminal offense through the use of face scanning and facial recognition technology.

The Guardian reports that plans from the UK's Home Office and the Ministry of Justice involve smartwatches installed with facial recognition software scanning the faces of migrants with criminal records up to five times per day. The scheme is set to come into effect this fall at the cost of $6 million ($7.25 million), though it's unknown how many watches will be produced and the individual build price for each unit.

British technology company Buddi Limited will create the "non-fitted devices" to monitor "specific cohorts," part of the Home Office Satellite Tracking Service.

Buddi's website shows it creates wrist wearables and clip-on devices that allow vulnerable people to alert others in an emergency. The wristbands also have Apple Watch-style fall detection and location finders that track wearers.

The Home Office's scheme will involve "daily monitoring of individuals subject to immigration control," requiring them to wear an ankle tag or smartwatch that must be worn at all times.

The system works by requiring a wearer to take a photo of themselves on the smartwatch up to five times per day. The images will be cross-checked against biometric facial images held on Home Office systems—any failed verifications will require a manual check.

The scheme will allow the Home Office to track someone "24/7." Location data will be recorded, and names, dates of birth, nationality, and photographs will be stored for six years. It's also expected that those who wear the watches will be subject to curfews and exclusion zone rules.

The watches will be given to foreign-national offenders convicted of a criminal offense rather than specific groups, such as asylum seekers.

The plan has generated plenty of controversy over the constant monitoring and use of facial recognition, which has a history of being less than perfect.

It's fair to say that news of this monitoring technology would have been less surprising had it come from China. The country's surveillance efforts have involved everything from a Minority Report-style future-crime predictor, to gait- and emotion-recognition tech. There was also the recent porn-detection helmet—pornography has been illegal in the country since 1949.

Masthead: GaudiLab

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dangh

Posts: 679   +1,068
I think this is the modern version of ankle locator. If someone have a criminal charges and there is chance he'd try to do something again then this is doing more or less same role. I guess what they want to make sure of is that the person is at the area he is confined to - his house or neighbourhood - and to ensure he stays at home he need to confirm by 'selfie' and geolocation that it is indeed him.
There is more similarities to that ankle solution, than to China mad cctv system.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,554   +2,813
"It's fair to say that news of this monitoring technology would have been less surprising had it come from China."

No not really, Britain has more surveillance activity than any other European country per capita - latest CCTV statistics show that there is one security camera for every 13 people.

The government are currently trying to remove human rights and are actively passing laws to make it illegal to protest in any capacity. Unless we remove a decent amount of corruption at the top, it won't be long until all citizens are required to check in at least once a day...
 

George Keech

Posts: 250   +429
"It's fair to say that news of this monitoring technology would have been less surprising had it come from China."

No not really, Britain has more surveillance activity than any other European country per capita - latest CCTV statistics show that there is one security camera for every 13 people.

The government are currently trying to remove human rights and are actively passing laws to make it illegal to protest in any capacity. Unless we remove a decent amount of corruption at the top, it won't be long until all citizens are required to check in at least once a day...
It is so odd isn't it. it feels like the current party leadership race is who can be the most right wing (from the UK point of view) non of them seem interested in helping anyone apart from getting 160K of old rich people to vote for them.

Plus the Uk gov couldn't organise a pissup in a brewery so this isnt going to happen anytime soon if at all
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,306   +2,904
It's called incrimentalism. "Governments" want to monitor every "subject" (as opposed to citizens) but know they would get a big PUSH BACK if they roll it out all at once.
So, they will start with illegal aliens or those convicted of crimes. Their "subjects" will be ok with that. Then it will be those deemed to have mental issues, and they will be ok with that. Then anyone convicted of any crime. And they will be ok with that. And on and on it will go until everyone is monitored.
It's like tossing a frog into a pot of water and slowly turning up the heat. By the time the frog realizes the water is boiling, it's too late.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,218   +2,757
TechSpot Elite
"The watches will be given to foreign-national offenders convicted of a criminal offense"

Heh heh, meaning: We want to do this for every offender in the UK but if we do that to citizens, the damn citizens can actually vote us out! So we'll impose this on the easiest target we can with no voting privileges and few enough sympathizers. It'll be interesting to see how this slippery slope progresses...
 

Gastec

Posts: 256   +130
"The Guardian reports that plans from the UK's Home Office and the Ministry of Justice involve [...]"
I guess George Orwell must have missed one.
 

trgz

Posts: 404   +179
I guess they'll be turning off standard 'Fake GPS' function in Android then.
I don't imagine it'll be long before someone hacks this, especially given that most tech savvy types could probably knock up a correctly geotagged and 'photoshooped' image of themselves standing infront of any UK landmark
 

3volv3d

Posts: 438   +230
They shouldn't be allowed to stay in the country if they commit a crime, bad enough when a country has to deal with their own.

But then they get rid of their passports. I feel that shouldn't stop anything, people seem to think it would breach human rights.

But half the problems are because such laws just help criminals get away with endless crap and make those that do conform consume and obey, have to pay out for this BS.