Smartwatches and face scans, London squeeze on sentenced migrants

The UK government has developed a tightening on certain categories of migrants, in order to strengthen controls on foreigners accused of crimes. This is what we learn from a draft, viewed by the overseas press, and stipulated between the ministries of the Interior and of Justice with a company specializing in the production of surveillance tools. The squeeze in question is based on two fundamental obligations for immigrants: to wear a particular smartwatch and undergo multiple facial scans per day.

According to the contract signed a few months ago by Her Majesty’s government, which will be applied in the autumn, migrants sentenced by the national criminal courts will have to wear, as an alternative to the classic electronic bracelet, a smartwatch designed to instantly transmit to the police, the position the geographical position of the offender.

Foreigners will have to use the same device for face scanned up to five times a day. The facial photographs taken using cyber-watches will then be sent to the police to compare them with the biometric images of the face recorded in the officers’ databases, in order to ensure periodic and meticulous control of the sentenced foreigners. According to the information gathered by the British newspapers, the strengthening of the monitoring of migrants will cost the public purse about 6 million of Euro.

The government plan, once unveiled in the press, immediately infuriated NGOs in defense of the rights of asylum seekers and in defense of privacywith Lucie Audibert, exponent of the Privacy International association, who declared: “Facial recognition is known to be an imperfect and dangerous technology that tends to discriminate against people of color and marginalized communities. These ‘innovations’ in police and surveillance are often led by private companies, which profit from governments’ race for total surveillance and population control. Through their opaque technologies and algorithms, they facilitate government discrimination and human rights violations without any accountability. No other country in Europe has deployed this dehumanizing and invasive technology against migrants“.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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