UK to use smartwatches and facial recognition to control migrants with criminal records – The Guardian

UK to use smartwatches and facial recognition to control migrants with criminal records - The Guardian

According to The Guardian, the Home Office and the UK Department of Justice intend to use smartwatches with facial recognition for migrants with a criminal record. Such face scanning is planned to be carried out up to 5 times a day. These innovations are due to come into effect in the fall and are planned to be allocated £6 million (about $7.25 million) for their implementation, although it is not known how many watches will be released and how much each device will cost.


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British technology company Buddi Limited will create “custom devices” to monitor “specific groups” as part of the Home Office Satellite Tracking Service program. The company’s website says it’s building wrist and clip-on devices that allow vulnerable people to alert others in the event of an emergency. Wearables also have fall detection and location detection that track wearers’ behavior.

The Home Office plan provides for “daily monitoring of persons subject to immigration control.” This will require the constant wearing of an ankle bracelet or smart watch. The system will require the user to take pictures of themselves on the smartwatch camera up to five times a day. The images will be cross-checked with biometric facial images stored in the systems of the Ministry of the Interior. However, any failed checks will require a manual check.

The scheme would allow the Home Office to track anyone 24/7. Location data will be recorded and names, dates of birth, citizenship and photos will be kept for 6 years. It is also expected that the wearers of such watches will have to obey the rules of the curfew and restricted areas.

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It is noted that the watches will be given to foreign offenders convicted of a criminal offense, and not to specific groups, such as asylum seekers.

Source: techspot

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