Only dozens in hundreds of thousands of photos held in a controversial police facial recognition database have been deleted, new figures reveal.
Despite being told by the High Court that innocent people's biometric details were being unlawfully held on the database, the numbers are continuing to grow, according to the biometric commissioner.
New figures released by PA show that only 67 people - less than 0.0004% of the total number of the database - have requested that their images be removed from this database, and police have only accepted 34 of these requests.
Fourteen, or 20% of the requests, were declined by the police.The others are still being considered.
Last August, Sky News revealed that police held more than 20 million facial recognition images, including on innocent people - despite a High Court ruling in 2012 said that holding these was unlawful.
It took the Government until 2017 before it revisited the policy in its Review of Custody Images.
The review informed the police that, contrary to the High Court judgment, they could carry on retaining innocent citizens' photographs for six years unless citizens directly applied to have their images removed.
When the review was published, the Home Office was warned that innocent people who were entitled to have their images deleted were unlikely to hear about the law.
Campaigners, including Big Brother Watch, argued that the images of innocent people needed to be automatically deleted.
The organisation's director, Silkie Carlo, said: "The miniscule number of photos deleted is the unsurprising result of the Home Office's obstructive, failed policy."
The independent Biometrics Commissioner warned that public confidence in law enforcement was being undermined by the lack of laws controlling the police's use of facial recognition technology, which can identify individuals from live CCTV footage.
A Biometrics Strategy to introduce regulation of the technology is now five years late.
Norman Lamb MP, chair of the science and technology committee, said that the Government's delay in publishing the strategy was "intolerable" as the Government promises to attempt to publish the document this year.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "When doing so it is important that the police act legally, ethically, and transparently.
"We are examining whether, with new police IT systems, it will be technically feasible to link custody images to conviction status as is the case with fingerprints and DNA."
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