A two-year review commissioned into police and public use of live facial recognition technology has concluded that new legislation must be introduced in line with protecting basic human, privacy, and equality rights.

While biometric technology has advanced enough to help law enforcement identify offenders, its disposal to allow authorities to conduct ID checks on the public is considered to be “invasive”  while often “inaccurate”.

The independent investigation was commissioned by The Ada Lovelace Institute and its findings published on Wednesday to advise the immediate ban of biometrics until new regulation is introduced.

Those who attended Identity Week Europe this week in London from the banking and travel industry made particularly impactful statements on the importance of trusted on-boarding and safeguarding personal consumer data underlying the use of biometric technology.

The review acknowledges that police use of biometric technology invades the right to discretion over personal data and identity.

Carly Kind, of the Ada Lovelace Institute commented: “The current use of live facial recognition is not lawful, and until the legal framework is updated, it will not be. There is an overriding public imperative to make changes”.

Matthew Ryder QC who led the report findings said: “Simply because the use of biometric data does not result in unique identification does not remove the rights-intrusive capacity of biometric systems, and the legal framework needs to provide appropriate safeguards in this area”.

He urged for a legally-binding code of conduct to govern use of biometrics against members of the public, although the government recently indicated the upcoming Data Reform Bill will reconfirm and assess the rules on police use of biometric data.