Facewatch facial recognition

Facewatch is a UK-based company that provides real-time facial recognition analysis and biometric watchlists to shops, pubs, and other public venues. It also offers its services to the police.

The system is intended to identify shoplifters from a database of actual and suspected criminals, and to ensure safety, alerting customer employees when a suspect enters one of their stores or when a violent act occurs.

Operator: Budgens; Flannels; Frasers Group; Home Bargains; Southern Co-op; SPAR; Sports Direct
Developer: Facewatch
Country: UK
Sector: Govt - police; Media/entertainment/sports/arts; Retail; Travel/hospitality
Purpose: Identify criminals
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Human/civil rights; Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Complaints/appeals; Marketing; Privacy

Risks and harms 🛑

The use of Facewatch's facial recognition system has sparked civil rights and privacy campaigners to express concerns about data rights and privacy, inadequate transparency, and the increasing use of surveillance technology in the private sector.

Page info
Type: System
Published: January 2023
Last updated: June 2024