Chair of the Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee
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‘Tech Champion’ is not a title I’d ever thought to have, but life in the Lords takes you to unexpected places. I chair the Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee and in March we published a report on new technologies in policing, with a dash of border control.
I will never get my head round how much there is that I don’t know, but I think it was useful that none of the members was an expert.
The use of advanced technologies affects us all and the ‘ordinary’ citizen needs to have trust and confidence that we are protected. I want to know that bias and discrimination are not baked in to facial expression or gait analysis, if they are used at all.
The Home Office apparently does not share the committee’s view that it would not stifle innovation to ensure standards through regulation based in legislation (we proposed ‘kitemark’ certification for products that the police might purchase). That is disheartening.
This is a subject that needs creativity and minds open to ideas about how a force for good does not come at a cost to human rights, civil liberties and equalities.
I’m enjoying learning about technology – and about ethics and safeguards too.
Each month we invite a leading member of the UK’s parliament to share their thoughts on technology and innovation in the UK.