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 staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.