The Future of Face Recognition Technology: When Technologies and Commissions Collide

2022 CRISP Annual Lecture
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 -
18:00 - 20:30

A recording of the CRISP Annual Lecture can be found here.

The 2022 CRISP Annual Lecture will be delivered by Professor Fraser Sampson, the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, and Dr Brian Plastow, the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner.

The lecture will explore the way that face recognition technology is evolving and offers potential for use in public space surveillance camera systems. This would include ‘live’ systems that identify faces in ‘real-time’ and retrospective systems that can be used for investigations after incidents have occurred. In doing so, these developments merge technologies and practices associated with surveillance cameras, with those associated with biometrics. This poses challenges for those charged with using, regulating and governing such systems, as multiple rules and legislative frameworks apply. The use of face recognition systems is very contentious, civil liberties groups oppose their deployment on privacy grounds, whilst policing institutions argue that their use could enhance policing practices and public safety. Public opinion is mixed, and opportunities for public debate are welcomed and can help inform how and where such systems should be deployed, and how oversight and accountability can be realised. This lecture comes at a very opportune time as the UK government reflects on new legislation designed to facilitate and regulate new AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies following Brexit. This lecture provides an opportunity to explore issues associated with the deployment of face recognition, its desirability, and how it should be governed in the future.

The lecture, which is open to the public, is designed to allow for a broad conversation with Professor Sampson and Dr Plastow. It will start with some opening statements by the two speakers and will then commence with discussion, in the form of Q&A with the audience, and between the speakers. The lecture will be Chaired by CRISP Director, Professor William Webster. At the heart of this lecture are contemporary developments in technological evolution and how these technologies are used legitimately, governed and regulated in the public interest.

To attend the lecture and to participate in the debate you will need to reserve a place via Eventbrite. Places are limited and are offered on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Registration opens at 6pm, with the lecture starting at 6.30pm and finishing at 8pm.
The lecture will be livestreamed and recorded, via MS Teams. To register for the livestream please email:

Refreshments will be available prior to the lecture.

Logistical Information
Car parking information at the University Campus is available here.

Directions to the University Campus can be found here.

Eventbrite page for the event can be found here.

Useful Websites
Office of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner:
Office of the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner
Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP)
For further information please contact