It will be interesting to see the extent to which the European Commission's White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) - which was published earlier this week and which ultimately aims to encourage the use of AI while tackling the various risks that can arise in connection with it - fuels the debate regarding live facial recognition technology (LFR).

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made clear in recent months that the privacy issues arising from the use of LFR are seen as a priority, so additional rules regulating the use of LFR in the UK are possible. One of the main recommendations that resulted from the ICO’s investigation into the trials of LFR carried out by South Wales Police and the Metropolitan Police Service was the introduction by the Government of a statutory and binding code of practice regarding use of LFR. The ICO is also conducting a separate investigation into private sector use of LFR.

Pending the introduction of any additional rules or codes of practice in this regard, any organisations using, or considering the use of, LFR - whether operating in the public or private sectors - would be well advised to ensure compliance with applicable EU and UK data protection laws regarding such use.

The European Commission has said it intends to draw up new rules to protect citizens against misuses of artificial intelligence (AI) tech. It likened the current situation to "the Wild West" and said it would focus on "high-risk" cases. But some experts are disappointed that a white paper it published did not provide more details. A leaked draft had suggested a ban on facial recognition's use in public areas would be proposed.