South Wales Police used facial recognition technology to scan crowds attending a Beyoncé concert in Cardiff in May, searching for potential paedophiles and terrorists.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael defended the use of the technology, saying it was “entirely sensible” given the large number of young girls attending the concert.
He also said that only images of individuals who were identified as being on a police watchlist were retained.
The use of facial recognition technology has been criticized by human rights campaigners, who argue that it violates privacy and can be discriminatory. However, Michael said that South Wales Police has a robust governance process in place to ensure that the technology is used fairly and effectively.
He said that the use of facial recognition at the Beyoncé concert was an example of how this process works in practice.
In advance of the concert, the police decided that the watchlist should consist of two sets of individuals: people known to be involved in extremism and terrorism, and paedophiles.
This decision was announced in advance and reported to Michael, who said that it “seemed to me entirely sensible.”
The sources for this piece include an article in BBC.