A Cardiff resident who lost a High Court challenge over police deployment of automated facial recognition technology has been given permission to take his case to the Court of Appeal.
In Bridges v CCSWP and SSHD, the High Court ruled in September that South Wales Police’s use of the technology was lawful after a challenge was brought by Ed Bridges, who believed his face was scanned by the force at a protest and while he was Christmas shopping.
Bridges is represented by civil liberties group Liberty, who today announced that the Court of Appeal has granted permission to hear the case.
According to Liberty, Lord Justice Singh said Bridges has a 'real prospect of success' on all his grounds. He further stated that the case 'raises such issues of public importance and issues which potentially affect large numbers of people that there is a compelling reason for the full court to hear this appeal'.
The appeal court will aim to hear the case by January 2021.
Liberty solicitor Megan Goulding, who is representing Bridges, said: 'Facial recognition gives the state unprecedented power to track and monitor us as we go about our daily lives. This technology destroys our privacy, undermines our free expression, and discriminates against communities that already experience overpolicing. We’re pleased the Court of Appeal has recognised the importance of these issues, and we will continue to fight the use of this intrusive technology on our streets.'
Goulding spoke about the case and the evidentiary challenges that Liberty faced at Public Law Project's annual conference last month.