18 May 2020
"Across Europe, highly intrusive and rights-violating facial recognition and biometric processing technologies are quietly becoming ubiquitous in our public spaces. As the European Commission consults the public on what to do, EDRi calls on the Commission and EU Member States to ensure that such technologies are comprehensively banned in both law and practice.
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By the end of 2019, at least 15 European countries had experimented with invasive biometric mass surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition. These are designed to watch, track or analyse people, score them, and make judgements about them as they go about their daily lives.
Worse still, many governments have done this in collaboration with secretive tech companies, in the absence of public debate, and without having demonstrated that the systems meet even the most basic thresholds of accountability, necessity, proportionality, legitimacy, legality or safeguarding."
"The EU regulates everything from medicines to children’s toys. It is unimaginable that a drug which has not been shown to be effective, or a toy which poses significant risks to children’s wellbeing, would be allowed onto the market. However, when it comes to biometric data capture and processing, in particular in an untargeted way in public spaces (i.e. mass surveillance), the EU has been a haven for unlawful biometric experimentation and surveillance. This has happened despite the fact that a 2020 study demonstrated that over 80% of Europeans are against sharing their facial data with authorities."
Ban biometric mass surveillance! (EDRi, link)
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