There has been considerable media interest recently regarding the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) at the King’s Cross Estate, located next to St Pancras International and King’s Cross stations.
The King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) is continuing to co-operate with the ICO. We do not intend to comment whilst its work continues, save to clarify the following matters for the public record:
- The King’s Cross Estate does not currently use FRT.
- Two FRT cameras, covering a single location at King’s Boulevard, were operational between May 2016 and March 2018.
- During that time, data processed via the FRT system was regularly deleted, with the final deletion taking place in March 2018.
- The King’s Cross Estate team has since undertaken work on the potential introduction of new FRT, but this work has stopped. There has been no operational FRT system at the King’s Cross Estate since March 2018.
- The FRT system was never used for marketing or other commercial purposes. The system was used only to help the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police prevent and detect crime in the neighbourhood and ultimately to help ensure public safety.
We note the broad debate now underway about the use of FRT and how to balance and combine keeping people safe and protecting their privacy, and the prospect of legal and regulatory developments in this area of emerging technology. In the meantime, KCCLP has no plans to reintroduce any form of FRT at the King’s Cross Estate.