Illegal use of biometric facial recognition technology

Our every step and move will be monitored by intelligent cameras which installation began in Belgrade two years ago.

With the help of advanced biometric facial recognition technology, it will be immediately clear who the person in the video is. So far, citizens, professionals and the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection have repeatedly stated that there is no legal basis for the use of such cameras, but if the draft of the new police law is adopted, there will be no more obstacles to the practice.

“This system affects all citizens, not only Belgraders, where cameras are now being installed but all citizens, because it allows for mass surveillance. This constitutes serious invasion of privacy, because everyone’s data, even the most sensitive ones, will be recorded in this system,” says Danilo Krivokapić of the Share Foundation.

The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Milan Marinović, has twice issued negative opinions on the impact assessment of the introduction of new technologies.  Until now, the police had no legal basis to use smart cameras, but if the new draft were adopted, there would no longer be any legal impediment.

“It is necessary that all citizens accessing public spaces (covered by cameras) are informed and aware that the space is under audio and video surveillance, and that whether they want to change their behaviour is up to them. Then it is up to the authorities to assess whether it is necessary and why they cannot possibly achieve the goal in another way, not by invading privacy so much,” says Marinović.

If the cameras are filming us, who will store the information about us and where, and who will have access to it? Krivokapić says that we know from the documents submitted to the Commissioner that the data will be stored in the police headquarters and operations centre and that only people authorised by the police will have access to the information.

(N1, 21.09.2021)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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