EDPD PR 7 of 16 May 2022

EDPD adopts guidelines on the use of facial recognition technology in the area of law enforcement

On 12 May 2022 the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has adopted guidelines on the use of facial recognition technology in the area of law enforcement. The guidelines provide guidance to EU and national law makers, as well as to law enforcement authorities, on implementing and using facial recognition technology Systems.

EDPB Chair Andrea Jelinek said: “While modern technologies offer benefits to law enforcement, such as the swift identification of suspects of serious crimes, they have to satisfy the requirements of necessity and proportionality. Facial recognition technology is intrinsically linked to processing personal data, including biometric data, and poses serious risks to individual rights and freedoms.”

The EDPB stresses that facial recognition tools should only be used in strict compliance with the Law Enforcement Directive (LED). Moreover, such tools should only be used if necessary and proportionate, as laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

In the guidelines, the EDPB repeats its call for a ban on the use of facial recognition technology in certain cases, as it had requested in the EDPB-EDPS joint opinion on the proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act. More specifically, the EDPB considers there should be a ban on:

  • remote biometric identification of individuals in publicly accessible spaces;
  • facial recognition systems categorising individuals based on their biometrics into clusters according to ethnicity, gender, as well as political or sexual orientation or other grounds for discrimination;
  • facial recognition or similar technologies to infer emotions of a natural person;
  • processing of personal data in a law enforcement context that would rely on a database populated by collection of personal data on a mass-scale and in an indiscriminate way, e.g. by "scraping" photographs and facial pictures accessible online.

The guidelines will be subject to public consultation for a period of 6 weeks.

Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt vom 19.05.2022 16:08
Quelle: EDPD PR 7 of 16 May 2022

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