Police To Be Allowed To Run Facial Recognition Searches On 50 Million Motorists Using Their Licenses Through Secret Law Change

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

28 Dec 2023

Police will soon be able to run facial recognition searches through a database with images of 50 million Brits with driving licences thanks to a new law introduced by the government.

Thanks to a single clause in a new criminal justice bill, every driver in the nation could find themselves permanently on a police lineup, privacy campaigners say.

The change will see police granted new levels of access to DVLA records potentially opening the way for motorists’ records to be scanned as well. 

Police minister Chris Philip called the technology “game-changing” for the crackdown on crime in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman denied reports that the new measures would allow the data to be used for facial recognition searches.

“It does not allow for automatic access to DVLA records for facial recognition,” the spokesman said. “Any further developments would be subject to further engagement as the public would expect.”

This news continues a trend by UK law enforcement, who have increased their use of facial recognition technology in recent events at major public gatherings and protests.