Discovering Business in Essex – 6th June 2018

Join Globalnet IT Innovations and 140 other Essex businesses at the Discovering Business in Essex trade show at Chelmsford City Racecourse on 6th June 2018. Hosted by Essex Chambers of Commerce, the show is the largest countywide B2B exhibition of its kind.

Featuring exhibitors and members of Essex Chambers of Commerce from across the county, the event brings networking opportunities for a wide range of local businesses and allows them to promote their products and services to potential new clients.

Discovering Business in Essex , IT support, IT Helpdesk, IT services

30 days Free IT Helpdesk Support

This will be Globalnet’sfirst ever trade show, and we will be showcasing our IT services and IT support and offering visitors 30 days free telephone IT support to anyone that books a consultation. We will also be demonstrating the industry leading tools that we use to provide support to our clients across a wide range of industries.

Discover our IT Services

Our IT consultants will be on hand to answer IT related questions visitors may have, whether it’s GDPR compliancy, IT security issues, cloud solutions or anything else. As it’s a trade show, we’ll also be handing out Globalnet goody bags. Pens will be included!

Join us on stand number 127 in the Sports Bar to chat with our team and discover how Globalnet can provide your business with the best advice, superior IT support and technology to help you reach your goals. 

Facial Recognition For Schools and the Classroom

A school in Hangzhou, capital of the eastern province of Zhejiang, is reportedly using facial recognition software to monitor pupils and teachers.

Intelligent Classroom Behaviour Management System

The facial recognition software is part of what has been dubbed The “intelligent classroom behaviour management system”. The reason for the use of the system is reported to be to supervise both the students’ learning, and the teachers’ teaching.


The system uses cameras to scan classrooms every 30 seconds. These cameras are part of a facial recognition system that is reported to be able to record students’ facial expressions, and categorize them into happy, angry, fearful, confused, or upset.

The system, which acts as a kind of ‘virtual teaching assistant’, is also believed to be able to record students’ actions such as writing, reading, raising a hand, and even sleeping at a desk.

The system also measures levels of attendance by using a database of pupils’ faces and names to check who is in the classroom.

As well as providing schools with added value monitoring of pupils, it may also prove to be a motivator for pupils to modify their behaviour to suit the rules of the school and the expectations of staff.

Teachers in Schools Watched Too

In addition to monitoring pupils, the system has also been designed to monitor the performance of teachers in order to provide pointers on how they could improve their classroom technique.

Safety, Security and Privacy

One other reason why these systems are reported to be increasing in popularity in China is to provide greater safety for pupils by recording and deterring violence and questionable practices at Chinese kindergartens.

In terms of privacy and security, the vice principal of the Hangzhou No.11 High School is reported to have said that the privacy of students is protected because the technology doesn’t save images from the classroom, and stores data on a local server rather than on the cloud. Some critics have, however, said that storing images on a local server does not necessarily make them more secure.

Inaccurate Facial Recognition?

If the experiences of the facial recognition software that has been used by UK police forces is anything to go by, there may be questions about the accuracy of what the Chinese system records. For example, an investigation by campaign group Big Brother Watch, the UK’s information Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has recently said that the Police could face legal action if concerns over accuracy and privacy with facial recognition systems are not addressed.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

There are several important aspects to this story. Many UK businesses already use their own internal CCTV systems as a softer way of monitoring and recording staff behaviour, and as a way to modify their behaviour i.e. simply by knowing their being watched. Employees could argue that this is intrusive to an extent, and that a more positive way of getting the right kind of behaviour should (also) have a system that rewards positive / good behaviour and good results.

Using intelligent facial recognition software could clearly have a place in many businesses for monitoring customers / service users e.g. in shops and venues. It could be used to enhance security. It could also, as in the school example, be used to monitor staff in any number of situations, particularly those where concentration is required and where positive signals need to be displayed to customers. These systems could arguably increase productivity, improve behaviour and reduce hostility / violence in the workplace, and provide a whole new level of information to management that could be used to add value.

However, it could be argued that using these kinds of systems in the workplace could make people feel as though ‘big brother’ is watching them, could lead to underlying stress, and could have big implications where privacy and security rights are concerned. It remains to be seen how these systems are justified, regulated and deployed in future, and how concerns over accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and personal privacy and security are dealt with.


Globalnet aims to be an integral part of your success, providing the best business advice, superior IT support and technology to help you reach your goals. 

Slack Actions adds integrations with third party developers

Chat App Slack has announced the introduction of a new Actions feature that makes it easier for users to create and finish tasks without leaving by having access to more 3rd party tools.

slack, actions

What Is Slack?

Slack, launched way back in 2013, is a Silicon Valley-produced, cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services. It provides mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and is available for the Apple Watch, enabling users to send direct messages, see mentions, and send replies.

Slack teams enable users (communities, groups, or teams) to join through a URL or invitation sent by a team admin or owner. It was intended as an organisational communication tool, but it has gradually been morphing into a community platform i.e. it is a business technology that has crossed-over into personal use.

In March 2018, Slack and financial and human capital management firm Workday formed a partnership that allowed Workday customers to access features from directly within the Slack interface. Slack is believed to have 8 million daily active users.

What Is ‘Actions’ and How Does It Help?

The new tool / feature – dubbed Actions – will bring enterprise developers deeper into Slack, because it allows for better / more integration with enterprise software from third-party software providers, such as Jira, HubSpot, and Asana.

Slack knows that many users now like to choose what software they use to get their job done, and the Actions feature will, therefore, be of extra value to 90% of Slack’s 3 million paid users who regularly use apps and integrations.

Actions can be accessed using a click or tap of any Slack message, require no slash commands, and are being made available to all developers using the platform to deploy bots and integrations. To begin with, Actions will be displayed based on what individuals use most frequently.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If you or your business uses Slack, the interoperability of these systems resulting from integration between software from third-parties with the Actions tool means that you have greater choice in what software you use to complete your tasks without having to leave Slack. This offers time and cost saving benefits, as well as a considerable boost in convenience.

Slack knows that there are open source and other alternatives out there, and the addition of Actions will help Slack to provide more valuable tools to users, thereby helping it to retain loyalty and compete in a rapidly evolving market.

Tech Tip – Enable ‘Do Not Track’ In Microsoft Edge

Microsoft edge, do not track

If you want the general added security of not being tracked when you’re browsing without having to switch to full security incognito mode, here’s how to enable ‘Do Not Track’ in Microsoft Edge:

– For Microsoft Edge, click on the three horizontal dots at the top right.

– Click on ‘Settings’ at very bottom.

– Click on ‘View advanced settings’ at the bottom.

– Scroll down to the Privacy and Services section, and toggle the ‘Send Do Not Track’ requests option.

– This should mean that all HTTP and HTTPS requests will include ‘Do Not Track’.


Globalnet aims to be an integral part of your success, providing the best business advice, superior IT support and technology to help you reach your goals. 

BYODs Linked To Security Incidents

A study by SME card payment services firm Paymentsense has shown a positive correlation between bring your own device (BYOD) schemes and increased cyber security risk in SMEs.


Bring your own device (BYOD) schemes / policies have now become commonplace in many businesses, with the BYOD and enterprise mobility market size growing from USD $35.10 Billion in 2016 to USD $73.30 Billion by 2021 (

BYOD policies allow employees to bring in their personally owned laptops, tablets, and smart-phones and use them to access company information and applications, and solve work problems. This type of policy has also fuelled a rise in ‘stealth IT’ where employees go outside of IT and set up their own infrastructure, without organizational approval or oversight, and can, therefore, unintentionally put corporate data and service continuity at risk.

BYOD, work mobile, security

Positive Correlation Between BYOD and Security Incidents

The Paymentsense study, involving more than 500 SMEs polled in the UK found a positive correlation between the introduction of a BYOD policy and cyber-security incidents. For example, 61% of the SME’s said that they had experienced a cyber-security incident since introducing a BYOD policy.

According to the study, although only 14% of micro-businesses (up to 10 staff) reported a cyber-security incident since implementing BYOD, the figure rises to 70% for businesses of 11 to 50 people, and to 94% for SMEs with 101 to 250 employees.

Most Popular Security Incidents

The study showed that the most popular types of security incidents in the last 12 months were malware, which affected two-thirds (65%) of SMEs, viruses (42%), DDoS distributed denial of service (26%), data theft (24%), and phishing (23%).

Positive Side

The focus of the report was essentially the security risks posed by BYOD. There are, however, some very positive reasons for introducing a BYOD policy in the workplace. These include convenience, cost saving (company devices and training), harnessing the skills of tech-savvy employees, perhaps finding new, better and faster ways of getting work done, improved morale and employee satisfaction, and productivity gains.

Many of these benefits are, however, inward-focused i.e. on the company and its staff, rather than the wider damage that could be caused to the lives of data breach victims or to the company’s reputation and profits if a serious security incident occurred.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

This is a reminder that, as well as the benefits of BYOD to the business, if you allow employees or other users to connect their own devices to your network, you will be increasing the range of security risks that you face. This is particularly relevant with the introduction of GDPR on Friday.

For example, devices belonging to employees but containing personal data could be stolen in a break-in or lost while away from the office. This could lead to a costly and public data breach. Also, allowing untrusted personal devices to connect to SME networks or using work devices on untrusted networks outside the office can put personal data at risk.
Ideally, businesses should ensure that ensure that personal data is either not on the device in the first place, or has been appropriately secured so that it cannot be accessed in the event of loss or theft e.g. by using good access control systems and encryption.

Businesses owners could reduce the BYOD risk by creating and communicating clear guidelines to staff about best security practices in their daily activities, in and out of the office. Also, it is important to have regular communication with staff at all levels about security, and having an incident response plan / disaster recovery plan in place can help to clarify responsibilities and ensure that timely action is taken to deal with situations correctly if mistakes are made.


Globalnet aims to be an integral part of your success, providing the best business advice, superior IT support and technology to help you reach your goals. 

TalkTalk Super Router Security Fears Persist

An advisory notice from software and VR Company IndigoFuzz has highlighted the continued potential security risk posed by a vulnerability in the WPS feature in the TalkTalk Super Router.

What Vulnerability Does the Super Router Have?

According to IndigoFuzz, the WPS connection is insecure and the WPS pairing option is always turned on i.e. the WPS feature in the router is always switched on, even if the WPS pairing button is not used.

This could mean that an attacker within range could potentially hack into the router and steal the router’s Wi-Fi password.

TalkTalk, Super Router, Security issue


It has been reported that in tests involving consenting parties, IndigoFuzz found a method of probing the router to steal the passwords to be successful on multiple TalkTalk Super Routers.

The test involved using a Windows-based computer, wireless network adapter, a TalkTalk router within wireless network adapter range, and the software ‘Dumpper’ available on Sourceforge. Using this method, the Wi-Fi access key to a network could be uncovered in a matter of seconds.


The ease with which the Wi-Fi access key could be obtained in the IndigoFuzz tests has prompted speculation that the vulnerability could be on a larger scale than was first thought, and a large number of TalkTalk routers could potentially be affected.

No Courtesy Period Before Announcement

When a vulnerability has been discovered and reported to a vendor, it is normal protocol to allow the vendor 30 days to address the problem before the vulnerability is announced publicly by those who have discovered / reported the vulnerability.

In this case, the vulnerability was first reported to TalkTalk back in 2014, so IndigoFuzz chose to issue the advisory as soon as possible.

Looks Bad After TalkTalk Hack in 2017

News that a vulnerability has remained unpatched after it was reported 4 years ago to TalkTalk looks bad on top of major cyber attack and security breach there back in October 2017. You may remember that the much publicised cyber-attack on the company resulted in an estimated loss of 101,000 customers (some have suggested that the number of lost customers was twice as much as this figure). The attack saw the personal details of between 155,000 and 157,000 customers (reports vary) hacked, with approximately 10% of these customers having their bank account number and sort code stolen.

The trading impact of the security breach in monetary terms was estimated to be £15M with exceptional costs of £40-45M.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

It seems inconceivable that a widely reported vulnerability that could potentially affect a large number of users may still not have been addressed after 4 years. Many commentators are calling for a patch to be issued immediately in order to protect TalkTalk customers. This could mean that many home and business customers are still facing an ongoing security risk, and TalkTalk could be leaving itself open to another potentially damaging security problem that could impact its reputation and profits.

Back in August last year, the Fortinet Global Threat Landscape Report highlighted the fact that 9 out of 10 businesses are being hacked through un-patched vulnerabilities, and that many of these vulnerabilities are 3 or more years old, and many even have patches available for them. This should remind businesses to stay up to date with their own patching routines as a basic security measure.

Last year, researchers revealed how the ‘Krack’ method could take advantage of the WPA2 standard used across almost all Wi-Fi devices to potentially read messages, banking information and intercept sensitive files (if a hacker was close to a wireless connection point and the website doesn’t properly encrypt user data). This prompted fears that hackers could turning their attention to what may be fundamentally insecure public Wi-Fi points in e.g. shopping centres / shops, airports, hotels, public transport and coffee shops. This could in turn generate problems for businesses offering WiFi.


Globalnet aims to be an integral part of your success, providing the best business advice, superior IT support and technology to help you reach your goals. 

Southend ranked as digital suburb in new report

Southend has been ranked with 15 other towns as a digital suburb in a new report outlining the current state of the UK ‘s technology industry.

According to the annual Tech Nation report, the technology industry in Britain is growing at more than twice the rate of rest of the economy and developing significant clusters of digital businesses in towns outside of the main cities.

The report, developed from a survey of 3,400 people within the industry and statistics from the ONS, claims that the tech industry grew by 4.5% in 2016-7, compared to UK GDP, which only grew by 1.7%. The technology sector is now worth £184bn, up from £170bn in 2016. Tech employment is also increasing at an astonishing five times the rate of the rest of the economy.

Productivity in the industry is also higher than in other industries, with each employee generating between £100,000 to £320,000 of turnover.

New Digital Suburbs

Cities are responsible for most of Britain’s digital tech business turnover, with London ranked as the third major centre for tech behind Silicon Valley and New York. However, the report also identified that tech hubs are also appearing in 16 smaller towns, which have a higher proportion of tech employment than the UK average, including Southend:

  • Basingstoke
  • Burnley
  • Slough and Heathrow
  • Livingston
  • Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City
  • Guildford and Aldershot
  • High Wycombe and Aylesbury
  • Southend
  • Enniskillen
  • Telford
  • Cheltenham
  • Stafford
  • Huntingdon
  • Swindon

The report contains a range of data across the country, broken down into regions. Southend ranks well, outlining several pros and cons of the town from the industry’s point of view.

Employment, Turnover and Productivity in Southend

For a comparatively small town, employment in the area is high with 8517 people working in the industry in 2017 turning over £942,470,000 or £111,000 per person.

Most technology companies within Southend are classed as scaleup, meaning they are aged between 5-9 years and as such are considered mid-stage and good opportunities for investment to rapidly grow.

tech employment
Over 8000 people are employed in the tech industry in Southend


technology, industry, turnover, value
The technology sector in Southend has almost £1Billion in turnover


Technology Sector’s Community Perception

The report also includes data on the industry’s perception of the community in which they operate.

Southend performs well in the category Perception of Living, with an overall score of 7.30 out of 10, compared with London’s 6.03, and beats the capital in all the categories surveyed including cultural amenities, cost of living and quality of life.

Living standards, Southend, quality of life

The results from the Perception of People are more of a mixed bag, though still proved more positive than those of London, with an overall score of 6, compared to London’s 5.34 and Southend scoring particularly well in the quality of local schools.

Tech community, people,

The report for the Perception of Doing Business slips below London, unsurprisingly with London scoring 5.69 compared to Southend’s 5.13; but the town’s perception of its digital infrastructure is especially optimistic, even if the locals don’t believe the town is particularly well recognised in the UK or abroad for its tech industry.

technology, business

However the town is far more optimistic when it comes to its future in the tech industry, recording high scores for growth potential.

tech community, business, growth

Strengths and Challenges facing Southend’s Technology Businesses

The survey asked the respondents to list the towns’ strengths and challenges, information which local authorities should particularly take note of. Tech people in Southend feel there is a lack of training available in the area and lack of support from government. They also seem to worry about retaining talent, possibly die to lure of London and it’s higher earning potential.

technology, digital suburb, business, challenge

On the positive side, the respondents seem to like living in a town with nearby access to their workplaces, in an appealing part of the country. The towns digital infrastructure is highly valued, and the town’s plans and agreements, such as Cisco’s Kinetic for Cities and CityFibre’s gigabit networking together with a host of new digital based workspaces, such as The Hive must surely influence the survey.

strengths, technology industry, strengths, business



Tech Nation



Globalnet aims to be an integral part of your success, providing the best business advice, superior IT support and technology to help you reach your goals. 

Greenwich University fined for security breach

The University of Greenwich has been fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a security breach that demonstrates the importance of maintaining active security controls on websites.

It was discovered that a forgotten microsite, created by a student and professor in 2004 for a training conference had been hacked, creating a backdoor to the universities network for the hackers to steal the personal details of 19,500 people. According to the ICO, the data included names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Organisational responsibility for security breach

Although the microsite was developed without the university’s knowledge, the ICO said that the university didn’t have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place for ensuring security and that it was down to the university to take responsibility for security throughout the institution.

ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley said, “Students and members of staff had a right to expect that their personal information would be held securely, and this serious breach would have caused significant distress. The nature of the data and the number of people affected have informed our decision to impose this level of fine.”

The University of Greenwich said it would not appeal the decision and would take advantage of a prompt payment discount to reduce the fine by 20% to £96,000 and had since carried out an overhaul of data protection and security systems.

University secretary Peter Garrod said, “No organisation can say it will be immune to unauthorised access in the future, but we can say with confidence to our students, staff, alumni and other stakeholders, that our systems are far more robust than they were two years ago as a result of the changes we have made.”

Previous data breach by University of Greenwich

The ICO said this was the first time that a university had been fined under the current legislation, which dates back to 1998, although other breaches have been reported and investigated in that time. This includes a separate data breach involving Greenwich University in 2016, in which the personal details of postgraduate research students were hacked. The hackers posted this information online.

In one example, it was disclosed that a student had a brother who was fighting in a Middle Eastern army and references were made to an asylum application. However, the university said that the ICO had concluded that no enforcement action was necessary in this instance.


With the implementation of GDPR on May 25th, organisations will be subjected to greater scrutiny over data protection and security and may be subject to fines of up to 4% of their annual turnover, or up to €20 million, although fines will be made with a tiered system depending on the level of the violation.


Make sure your organisation is fully secured against data breaches and hackers. Globalnet offers managed cyber security plans for businesses of all sizes, including the UK Government backed Cyber Essentials Scheme. Speak to one of our consultants for more details. Call 0203 005 9650.

cyber essentials, greenwich university, fine


AI Drones: Smaller and Smarter

Researchers from ETH Zurich, Switzerland and the University of Bologna have built the smallest completely autonomous quadrotor nano-drone that uses AI to fly itself, and doesn’t need human guidance, unlike other drones.

Neural Network Feeds the AI

The technology at the heart of the Crazyflie 2.0 Nano Quadcopter is the DroNet neural network. This is able to processes incoming images from a camera at 20 frames per second. From this, the nano-drone is able to work out how to steer, and calculate the probability of a collision, thereby giving it the ability to know when to stop.

AI Drone, Drones
The Crazyflie 2.0 Nano Quadcopter AI Drone
Fully On-Board Computation

The fact that these new AI drones need no external sensing and computing because all computation is fully on-board thanks to the PULP (Parallel Ultra Low Power) platform, means that it is truly autonomous, and is, therefore, a real first in terms of how a small drone can be controlled.

The new autonomous drone is an improvement on the first test version of the drones, which involved putting the DroNet neural network system in a larger commercial-off-the-shelf, Parrot Bebop 2.0 drone, and using radio contact with a laptop to control it.

AI Trained Using Images

Since AI requires training so that it can learn to become better at a task, the drones’ neural network was trained using thousands of images taken from bicycles and cars driving along different roads.

Only Horizontal Movement

One major drawback at the current time is that, because it was trained using images from a single plane, the drone can only move horizontally and cannot yet fly up or down.

Even Smaller Drones

Technologies involved in making drones have evolved to such a degree that even robot ‘fly’ drones haves now been built.

As the successor to RoboBee, the so-called RoboFly it is so small (the size of a fly) that it can’t support the weight of a battery to power it. The power for flight is currently delivered by a laser being trained on an attached photovoltaic cell.

The tiny device has wings that are flapped by sending a series of pulses of power in rapid succession and then slowing the pulsing down as it gets near the top of the wave (with the whole process in reverse for the downward flap).

The RoboFly drones, developed by a team of researchers based in Australia, can only just take off and travel a very short distance at present. Future plans for RoboFly reportedly include improving the onboard telemetry so it can control itself, and making a steered laser that can follow the bug’s movements and continuously beam power in its direction.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Up until now, the main uses for drones have been specialist applications such as within the military, in construction (viewing and mapping sites), film and TV, leisure use, and even for delivery of parcels (Amazon tests). All of these involve the use of larger drones that are remotely controlled.

The ideas that a drone can be made in a miniature size, and / or can control itself using AI could open up many more new areas of opportunity for businesses and other organisations. Such drones could be used in confined spaces or in very specialised situations.

The idea of an AI drone has, however, led to some alarm being expressed by some commentators. Even though AI autonomy could help drones to monitor environments, be used in spying, and develop swarm intelligence for military use, some have expressed worries that they could become better at delivering lethal payloads, and could pose other unforeseen security risks.


Globalnet IT Innovations offer a range of managed IT services and on-demand IT services. Call us on 0203 005 9650 to speak to one of our IT consultants and discover how we can help you reach your business goals.

Police Facial Recognition Software Flawed

Following an investigation by campaign group Big Brother Watch, the UK’s Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has said that the Police could face legal action if concerns over accuracy and privacy with facial recognition systems are not addressed.

Which Facial Recognition Systems?

A freedom of information request sent to every police force in the UK by Big Brother Watch shows that The Metropolitan Police used facial recognition at the Notting Hill carnival in 2016 and 2017, and at a Remembrance Sunday event, and South Wales Police used facial recognition technology between May 2017 and March 2018. Leicestershire Police also tested facial recognition in 2015.

What’s The Problem?

The two main concerns with the system (as identified by Big Brother Watch and the ICO) are that the facial recognition systems are not accurate in identifying the real criminals or suspects, and that the images of innocent people are being stored on ‘watch’ lists for up to a month, and this could potentially lead to false accusations or arrests.

How Do Facial Recognition Systems Work?

Facial recognition software typically works by using a scanned image of a person’s face (from the existing stock of police photos of mug shots from previous arrests), and then uses algorithms to measure ‘landmarks’ on the face e.g. the position of features and the shape of the eyes, nose and cheekbones. This data is used to make a digital template of a person’s face, which is then converted into a unique code.

High-powered cameras are then used to scan crowds. The cameras link to specialist software that can compare the camera image data to data stored in the police database (the digital template) to find a potential ‘match’. Possible matches are then flagged to officers, and these lists of possible matches are stored in the system for up to 30 days.

A real-time automated facial recognition (AFR) system, like the one the police use at events, incorporates facial recognition and ‘slow time’ static face search.

cctv, facial recognition
Big Brother may be watching, but the facial recognition doesn’t work

The systems used by the police so far have been criticised for simply not being accurate. For example, of the 2,685 “matches” made by the system used by South Wales Police between May 2017 and March 2018, 2,451 were false alarms.

Keeping Photos of Innocent People On Watch Lists

Big Brother Watch has been critical of the police keeping photos of innocent people that have ended up on lists of (false) possible matches, as selected by the software. Big Brother Watch has expressed concern that this could affect an individual’s right to a private life and freedom of expression, and could result in damaging false accusations and / or arrests.
The police have said that they don’t consider the ‘possible’ face selections as false positive matches because additional checks and balances are applied to them to confirm identification following system alerts.

The police have also stated that all alerts against watch lists are deleted after 30 days, and faces in the video stream that do not generate an alert are deleted immediately.


As well as accusations of inaccuracy and possibly infringing the rights of innocent people, the use of facial recognition systems by the police has also attracted criticism for not appearing to have a clear legal basis, oversight or governmental strategy, and for not delivering value for money in terms of the number of arrests made vs the cost of the systems.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

It is worrying that there are clearly substantial inaccuracies in facial recognition systems, and that the images of innocent people could be sitting on police watch lists for some time, and could potentially result in wrongful arrests. The argument that ‘if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear’ simply doesn’t stand up if police are being given cold, hard computer information to say that a person is a suspect and should be questioned / arrested, no matter what the circumstances. That argument is also an abdication from a shared responsibility, which could lead to the green light being given to the erosion of rights without questions being asked. As people in many other countries would testify, rights relating to freedom and privacy should be valued, and when these rights are gone, it’s very difficult to get them back again.

The storing of facial images on computer systems is also a matter for security, particularly since they are regarded as ‘personal data’ under the new GDPR which comes into force this month.

There is, of course, an upside to the police being able to use these systems if it leads to the faster arrest of genuine criminals, and makes the country safer for all.

Despite the findings of a study from YouGov / GMX (August 2016) that showed that UK people still have a number of trust concerns about the use of biometrics for security, biometrics represents a good opportunity for businesses to stay one step ahead of cyber-criminals. Biometric authentication / verification systems are thought to be far more secure than password-based systems, which is the reason why banks and credit companies are now using them.

Facial recognition systems have value-adding, real-life business applications too. For example, last year, a ride-hailing service called Careem (similar to Uber but operating in more than fifty cities in the Middle East and North Africa) announced that it was adding facial recognition software to its driver app to help with customer safety.


Globalnet IT Innovations offer a range of managed IT services and on-demand IT services. Call us on 0203 005 9650 to speak to one of our IT consultants and discover how we can help you reach your business goals.