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5 April 2022

Overhaul of UK police tech needed to prevent abuse

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) by UK police could undermine human rights and further exacerbate existing inequalities without sufficient safeguards, supervision and caution, a House of Lords inquiry has found. Following a 10-month investigation into the use of advanced algorithmic technologies by UK police, including facial recognition and various crime “prediction” tools, the Lords Home Affairs and Justice Committee (HAJC) described the situation as “a new Wild West” characterised by a lack of strategy, accountability and transparency from the top down. In a report published on 30 March 2022, the HAJC said: “The use of advanced technologies in the application of the law poses a real and current risk to human rights and to the rule of law. Unless this is acknowledged and addressed, the potential benefits of using advanced technologies may be outweighed by the harm that will occur and the distrust it will create.” In the case of “predictive policing” technologies, the HAJC noted their tendency to produce a “vicious ...

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