Migrants who were convicted of a criminal resentment will be required scan their faces up up to five times day using smart watch set with face recognition technology under plans from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice.
In May government made a contract with the British technology Buddi Limited will supply “inappropriate devices” to monitor “specific cohorts” within of Satellite tracking service of the Ministry of the Interior. The scheme is due to be introduced from autumn across the UK, initially. cost of £6 million.
Home office data protection August 2021 Impact Assessment (DPIA) by the charity Privacy International through Freedom of information request, assessed impact of smart watch technology before entering into a contract with a supplier. In documents seen by The Guardian, Home Office says the scheme will include “daily monitoring of persons subject to immigration control, with requirement to wear a fitted ankle tag or smartwatch with them at all times.
Those who are required to wear devices will need to complete periodic control checks throughout the day by photographing of themselves on smart watch, with information including their names, date of birth, nationality and photographs are stored for up to six years. The location will be tracked “24/7, which allows you to record route monitoring data.”
Photos taken using smart watch will be rechecked against biometric facial images on Home Office, and if image verification fails, verification must be done manually.
Data will be transferred with Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice and Police, with Interior Ministry officials add: “The exchange of this data [to] police colleagues is not new”.
Number of devices to be produced, and cost of all smartwatches have been edited in contract and no mention of risk assessments to determine whether it is appropriate to monitor vulnerable or at-risk asylum seekers.
Home Office says smart watch circuit for foreign-national offenders who were convicted of a criminal crime, not other groups such as asylum seekers.
However, those who are required to wear smartwatches are expected to be subject to the same conditions as those who wear them. with GPS tags on the ankles, with References in DPIA to curfew and inclusion and exclusion zones.
In the State Control report in June, government said that he “views electronic monitoring as cost- an effective alternative to detention that contributes to the achievement of his protection goals public as well as reduce repeated crime.
Activists claim around-the-clock surveillance. of asylum seekers violates human rights and can have detrimental consequences on health and well-being of migrants.
Lucy Audibert, lawyer and jurist for Privacy International stated: “Face recognition is known to be flawed and dangerous technology who tends to discriminate against people of communities of color and marginalized communities. These “innovations” in police and surveillance are often controlled private companies, who profit from the government race in the direction total surveillance and control of population.
“Through their opaque technologies and algorithms, they facilitate government discrimination and violations of human rights without any accountability. No other country in Europe launched this inhuman and aggressive technology against migrants.”
Dr. Monish Bhatia, Lecturer in Criminology at Birkbeck University of London, said: “Electronic monitoring is intrusive technology of control. Some people develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and general deterioration of mental health.
“The Ministry of the Interior has not yet clear how long people will remain on monitoring. They didn’t provide any evidence show why electronic monitoring is needed or tags have been shown to compel people to comply with immigration rules better. What we need is a humane, non-degrading, decision-based community.”
A Home Office spokesman stated that “portable biometric access device” would soon be introduced in addition to an existing fitted device or ankle tag.
” public expects us monitor convicted foreign national offenders and suggest that this contract applies to asylum seekers who arrived via simply illegal means wrong. From August 2021 Ministry of the Interior successfully tagged over 2500 foreign criminals, reassuring victims that their perpetrators cannot escape law and will removed from the UK as soon as possible.
From January 2019 government It has removed over 10,000 foreign criminals. Foreign criminals should to be in without a doubt of our determination to deport them and government does everything possible increase the number of foreign national offenders will be deported.”
Buddi Limited applied for a comment.