Serle Court “offers a variety of skill sets that others can’t provide, and houses some of the biggest names at the Bar”
Chambers UK
The ‘go-to’ set for international trusts work, Serle Court houses ‘first-rate advisers, who also pull their weight as part of a team’
Legal 500

World IP Day 2023

In response to World IP Day 2023 on Wednesday, 26th April, we would like to share this week’s IP ITeaser post, titled: ‘Frasers faces fracas' by Michael Edenborough KC.

“The Frasers Group, which owns the House of Fraser and Sports Direct, is facing a growing storm for using live facial recognition cameras to identify people who have been banned from their stores. Apart from the disconnect that people are actually banned from these stores, the issue revolves around the well documented problems of facial recognition being inaccurate, in particular when distinguishing between non-male, non-Caucasians, and so wrongly invading people’s privacy in a discriminatory manner. Facial recognition works by mapping a number of data points on the face (akin to mapping the ridges of a fingerprint), and then comparing that map with a database of known (in this case) undesirables. The underlying information is closely related to copyright in a map, be it a traditional paper copy or a modern database of data points.
In the case of the Frasers Group, a particularly worrying aspect is that a member of staff may add for any reason any face that has been scanned to a database base of “subjects of interest” – the potential for abuse is obvious (for example to rival Roll-on-Friday’s Sexy Lawyer of the Week section). The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has raised concerns about this practice, but it has done nothing to stop it. In contrast, the Dutch Data Protection Authority has issued a formal warning to a supermarket that adopted a similar system. 1984 here we come".

Michael is a regular contributor to our IP ITeaser initiative, Serle Court’s weekly bulletin written by our IP & IT specialists and he was recently recognised as a Lexology Legal Influencer Q1 2023 for IP - UK.

These posts are published to Lexology and in our Intellectual Property Group here

Visit Serle Court’s Lexology profile.

To view further information about our Intellectual Property barristers, please click here.