Migrants who have been convicted of a criminal offense will have to have their faces scanned up to five times a day using facial recognition smartwatches under plans by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. From the report: In May, the government awarded a contract to British technology company Buddi Limited to supply “unequipped devices” to monitor “specific cohorts” as part of the Home Office’s Satellite Tracking Service. The scheme is due to be rolled out across the UK from the autumn at an initial cost of £6m.

The Home Office’s August 2021 Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), obtained by the charity Privacy International through a Freedom of Information request, assessed the impact of smartwatch technology before a vendor was contracted. In documents seen by the Guardian, the Home Office says the scheme will involve “daily monitoring of individuals subject to immigration control”, requiring them to wear an ankle tag or smartwatch at all times. Those required to wear the devices will be required to undergo periodic background checks throughout the day by taking a photo of themselves wearing the smartwatch, with information including their names, date of birth, nationality and photos stored for six years. The location will be tracked “24/7, allowing track monitoring data to be recorded.”

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