London Food Bank Users Face Biometric Face Scanning

Privacy campaigners are putting the pressure on London food banks to abandon facial recognition systems, flagging significant risks to users’ “privacy, dignity, and security.” Hackney Foodbank, which operates five distribution centers under the umbrella of the Trussell Trust network, is among those employing the Face Donate app. Here’s the deal: The app, Face Donate, enables users to receive shopping tokens in lieu of traditional food parcels. By doing so, it helps the food bank cope with the surging demand without the need for additional manpower to manage supplies. However, to avail the service, users are required to submit invasive facial scans. This doesn’t just facilitate the picking of food items from stores, but also paves the way for tracking purchases. On one side: As reported by The Guardian, Big Brother Watch’s director, Silkie Carlo, has been vocal in calling for a halt to this practice. She contends that seeking sensitive biometric data in exchange for food is untenable. She alerted Hackney Foodbank that “as biometric data becomes increasingly valuable the repercussions of your users’ biometric data being lost or stolen could be catastrophic,” because, unlike passwords, biometric data cannot be reset after a data breach. “It is for this reason that the legal threshold for processing biometric data must meet the strict requirement of necessity rather than of convenience,” Carlo added. The Counterargument: Both the food bank and the software provider dispute the assertion that biometric data is effectively being bartered for food. They insist that Face Donate is not…London Food Bank Users Face Biometric Face Scanning