Leicestershire Police has revealed the facial recognition technology it rolled out at Download Festival had no policing utility. Instead it was an experimental assessment opportunity, paid for – and carried out for the sole benefit of – software vendor NEC Corporation.

The roll-out of facial recognition technology at Download, organised between Blighty’s plod and the multinational firm NEC Corporation, was completely for the latter’s benefit, according to information The Register has seen through FOI requests.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare since ever since.