UK may use facial recognition smartwatches to monitor migrant criminals

The UK government could soon use smartwatches to monitor migrants convicted of crimes. Accordingly, the perpetrators would have to scan their faces up to five times a day . The measures could come into force as early as this autumn.

Those subject to the conditions would have to take photos of themselves throughout the day and have their locations tracked 24 hours a day, according to documents obtained by The guard. The photos are compared with those of the Ministry of the Interior. If the government’s systems cannot verify the person’s identity, manual verification would be required. The photos — along with the migrants’ names, nationalities and dates of birth — will be stored for up to six years, according to plans by the Home Office and Justice Department.

The rules only apply to foreign nationals who have been convicted of criminal offences. According to reports, the British government will not monitor other people, such as asylum seekers, in this way.

In May, the government gave a company called Buddi Limited permission to secure “unadapted devices” to track “specific cohorts” under the Home Office’s satellite tracking service. “A non-customized device solution provides a more proportionate opportunity to monitor specific cohorts for longer periods of time than customized tags,” the contract reads. “These devices will use regular biometric verification as an alternative to being matched to an individual.” The number of buddi that will be delivered and the cost of each has been redacted.

The Home Office has not specifically said it will use smartwatches with facial recognition capabilities to track convicted migrants. A spokesman said The guard that the Home Office will soon implement a “portable device with biometric access” that will work alongside ankle tags.

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