The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK supervisory authority for processing personal data under the Data Protection Act and UKGDPR. The ICO has closed a formal inspection of Facewatch. The ICO concluded that no regulatory action is required. The ICO “are satisfied the company has a legitimate purpose for using people’s information for the detection and prevention of crime.”

The Office of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (OSBCC) is the UK supervisory authority for biometric processing and CCTV cameras. The OSBCC has awarded Facewatch certification of compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice for our use of live facial recognition.


Facewatch has become the first facial recognition business to win the official backing of the UK regulator, which has recognised the company’s “excellent and most commendable commitment” to high standards and maintaining public trust.

The Office of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Professor Fraser Sampson, has awarded Facewatch its certification mark for meeting all requirements of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (SCCP) specifically for the use of live facial recognition.

The Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner is the UK regulatory authority for biometric processing and CCTV, including facial recognition.

The certification enables Facewatch, the UK’s leading facial recognition retail security company, to demonstrate that they comply with the SCCP for their use of Automatic Facial Recognition within their customers’ premises. The award of the mark follows a detailed accreditation process with the Security Systems and Alarms Inspections Board (SSAIB).

Nick Fisher, chairman of Facewatch, said: “The award of this certification underlines our commitment to best practice, both to prevent crime and protect staff and customers. The public and our subscribers can continue to have confidence in our systems and safeguards.”

Commissioner Fraser Sampson said: “By successfully engaging with the professional accreditation bodies and my certification scheme, an organisation, and more importantly the public, may be reassured that surveillance camera systems which intrude upon their privacy are being demonstrably operated ethically and legitimately to an appropriate standard.

“The certification scheme goes above and beyond the basic requirements of data protection and is designed, as is the government’s Surveillance Camera Code, to enable operators of surveillance camera systems to make legitimate use of available technology in a way that the public would rightly expect and to a standard that maintains public trust and confidence. I acknowledge your excellent and most commendable commitment in that regard arising from your engagement with this process.”

Facewatch takes protecting privacy and complying with the law and the Code of Practice very seriously. Facewatch is the only automatic facial recognition provider that complies with the UK GDPR and the SCCP.

Simon Gordon (Founder)

Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (SCCP) in full:



A Mail on Sunday article featured criticism from a privacy pressure group of retailers using Facewatch to prevent crime and abuse of staff in their stores.

Fraser Group responded by saying they use Facewatch “to ensure the safety of our staff and to help prevent theft”.

The activists’ criticism fell flat in the court of public opinion. Support and understanding from the public was evident as the online comments on the article point to overwhelming support for retailers using Facewatch.

“Blame the shoplifters not the store for trying to prevent it. Shoplifting cost us all and lets call it by its proper name, theft.” [sic]

 “More stores should do the same, then it may bring prices down so that honest people could afford to buy what they need or want..”

The statistics are clear, and according to the British Retail Consortium, ‘shoplifting has rocketed from 2.9 million incidents in 2016/17 to 7.9 million last year. The cost to retailers almost doubled from £503 million to £953 million in the same period’ demonstrating that the need for an effective solution is growing.


Read the full article here  and contact us now to find out how Facewatch can help you to protect your staff using our UKGDPR compliant system

0207 930 3225

Fascinating to hear the inside story…

Channel 4 have been granted rare and exclusive access to a CCTV monitoring centre at the retailer Boots’ headquarters in Nottingham.

Channel 4 understands that figures released by the British Retail Consortium later this week will show that violence and abuse against staff have doubled since 2019. Thefts cost retailers over 600-million pounds in revenue annually.

Facewatch is the trusted name in retail crime prevention, using facial recognition to proactively protect staff, customers and stock for a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. Facewatch can reduce crime by 25% in the first 6 months of use and up to 50% within one year as well as reducing staff abuse dramatically by eliminating the flashpoint involved in dealing with a crime in progress.