Biometrics GDPR Surveillance

European Parliament wants to ban facial recognition in public spaces

The European Parliament wants a permanent ban on the use of automated facial recognition in public areas and at border crossings. Parliament also wants a ban on private facial recognition databases, social scoring systems of citizens and behavioral data-based ‘predictive policing’. A resolution calling for this was passed with 377 votes in favour, 248 against and 62 abstentions. With the permanent ban on automated facial recognition of people in public spaces, the European Parliament says it wants to protect the privacy and human dignity of citizens. Citizens should only be monitored when they are suspected of a crime. Parliament also wants to ban the use of private facial recognition databases, such as those of the company Clearview AI. Social scoring systems, which assess the trustworthiness of citizens based on their behavior or personality, should also be banned. Parliament is also concerned about the use of biometric data to identify people remotely, for example at border control passages that use automated facial recognition. “Fundamental rights are unconditional. For the first time ever, we are calling for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition systems for police purposes, as the technology has proven to be ineffective and can lead to discriminatory results. We are also firmly against predictive policing based on the use of artificial intelligence as well as the processing of biometric data leading to mass surveillance is a major victory for all European citizens,” said rapporteur Petar Vitanov.