King’s Cross developer defends use of facial recognition

The developer behind a 67-acre site in the King’s Cross area of central London has defended its use of facial recognition technology.

Under data protection laws, firms must provide clear evidence that there is a need to record and use people’s images.

A spokeswoman said the tool was used to “ensure public safety” and was one of “a number of detection and tracking methods”.

The local council said it was unaware that the system was in place.

It was first reported by the Financial Times.

In a statement, developer Argent said it used cameras “in the interest of public safety” and likened the area to other public spaces.

“These cameras use a number of detection and tracking methods, including facial recognition, but also have sophisticated systems in place to protect the privacy of the general public,” it said.

A spokeswoman declined to say what those systems were, how long the facial recognition had been in operation or what the legal basis was for its use, as is required under European data protection law.

Potential for inappropriate use

In addition to the National Rail, London Underground and Eurostar stations, King’s Cross is home to a number of restaurants, shops and cafes, as well as offices occupied by Google and Central Saint Martins college.

The college told the BBC it had “not been made specifically aware” that the tech was in use in the area and added that it does not use it inside its own buildings.

According to the King’s Cross website, planning permission for new additions to the site, granted in 2006, included:

  • 50 buildings
  • 1,900 homes
  • 20 streets
  • 10 public parks

The BBC has confirmed that London’s Canary Wharf is also seeking to trial facial recognition tools, as reported in the Financial Times.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it had general concerns about the potential for inappropriate use of the technology.

“Organisations wishing to automatically capture and use images of individuals going about their business in public spaces need to provide clear evidence to demonstrate it is strictly necessary and proportionate for the circumstances, and that there is a legal basis for that use,” it said in a statement.

“The ICO is currently looking at the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement in public spaces and by private sector organisations, including where they are partnering with police forces.

“We’ll consider taking action where we find non-compliance with the law.”

South Wales Police faced a legal challenge to its use of facial recognition in 2018.

Despite this it is currently undergoing a three-month trial of a new app.

Chancellor Sajid Javid gave his backing to the police in their trials of facial recognition cameras last month, while he was home secretary.

However, privacy groups have also voiced concerns about the implications of facial recognition on privacy rights.

“Facial recognition is nothing like CCTV – it’s not an accurate comparison,” said Stephanie Hare, an independent researcher and tech commentator.

“It allows us to be identified and tracked in real time, without our knowledge or our informed consent.

“We recognise the power of DNA and fingerprints as biometrics and their use is governed very strictly under UK law. We do not apply the same protections and restrictions to face, yet it is arguably even more powerful precisely because it can be taken without our knowledge.”

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Central Banker Who Shocked Israel Defends Her Surprise Rate Hike

© Bloomberg. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, second from left. Photographer: Ariel Jerozolimski/Bloomberg &copy Bloomberg. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, second from left. Photographer: Ariel Jerozolimski/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — The outcome of the lone meeting Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg chaired at the Bank of Israel will resonate long after her five-year term as deputy governor ends this week.

Last November, Baudot-Trajtenberg as acting governor led the decision to raise interest rates for the first time since 2011. Although economists have questioned the move, Baudot-Trajtenberg said the decision was “completely coherent” with domestic economic data that has come out since, even as overseas the picture has darkened.

“In terms of the domestic activity, it’s pretty much on track,” she said in an interview Thursday, her last day in office. “The global monetary environment and the global economic activity, both these have changed I would say for the worse.”

Israel’s central bank has stood pat in the two meetings since then, with new Governor Amir Yaron signaling that any future tightening will be “gradual and cautious.” Economic growth looks set to stagnate this year, while inflation has rebounded slightly, moving back within the bank’s target range of 1 percent to 3 percent.

The central bank’s research department predicts inflation will edge up to 1.3 percent by the end of 2019, with the benchmark rate rising to 0.5 percent by the third quarter from its current 0.25 percent.

She does see some risks on the horizon. Israel is vulnerable to a brewing global trade war, she said, though it’s not clear how much. A downturn in equity markets also could hurt the country if it causes savings to shrink, or spurs a change in risk appetite that scares investors away from Israeli high tech.

“Funding has been quite generous for the past few years because the risk taking was very high and the interest rate environment very low,” she said. “If risk appetite changes, then you know our ability to raise funds for those very risky enterprises might have an impact.”

Baudot-Trajtenberg thinks the new governor has a “very deep understanding of financial markets,” as evident in his past research and his manner of approaching issues. “I think that’s a very strong element to bring to a central bank,” she said.

Yaron’s preference for steering inflation toward the 2 percent midpoint of the target range — a level Israel last reached in 2013 — “isn’t a different policy,” she said. It also doesn’t mean the central bank will postpone any rate move until inflation reaches that threshold, she said.

“It reflects the fact that for a long time our minimum request was to be entrenched within the range,” she said. “But if we want our tool to be more effective, then we should be aiming for something like the mid range.”

Baudot-Trajtenberg said she still wasn’t sure of her future plans.

“It’s inappropriate to think about what you’re going to do next when you’re in the central bank,” she said.

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Nissan former executive Kelly defends Ghosn compensation: NHK

© Reuters. Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, attends the Tomorrow In Motion event on the eve of press day at the Paris Auto Show, in Paris © Reuters. Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, attends the Tomorrow In Motion event on the eve of press day at the Paris Auto Show, in Paris

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former top Nissan Motor (T:) executive Greg Kelly, arrested with former chairman Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct, has said Ghosn’s compensation was appropriate and had been discussed with other officials, public broadcaster NHK said on Saturday.

NHK, without naming sources, said Kelly had made the statements to people he had met since his arrest.

Nissan’s board voted unanimously on Thursday to remove Ghosn and Kelly from their positions. Both were arrested earlier in the week after a Nissan investigation uncovered evidence of serious wrongdoing including under-reporting remuneration and personal use of company assets.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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