Data protection: strict requirements for video surveillance and face recognition


At its meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, the European Data Protection Board (EDSA) adopted a large majority of guidelines on the use of video surveillance in line with data protection. The supervisory authorities of the EU member states focus on the principle of proportionality. Since every video surveillance involves an interference with personal rights, it must always be based on a "legitimate interest" of the camera operator.

Government agencies can therefore only install electronic eyes in public spaces for objective reasons. With video surveillance for security reasons, there should always be actual indications of a danger to life, limb or property, EDSA underlines, A purely subjective discomfort with the feeling of security is not enough to justify such a measure.

The experts also want to clarify the use of the particularly controversial automated facial recognition. They state that, based on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), private companies are fundamentally prohibited from processing the required biometric data "for the purpose of identifying certain people" without the express consent of the person concerned. At the same time, they specify the strict requirements so that such an opt-in can take effect. There are also tips on how video surveillance can be made sufficiently transparent.

"The recently announced business practices of the service provider Clearview have clearly shown us the desires for biometric data nowadays, not only from the state, but also from the private side," said the Berlin data protection officer Maja Smoltczyk. "The freedom of being able to move in public even without being observed is a particularly valuable and worth protecting asset of our free society, which we absolutely must preserve." Smoltczyk previously branded biometric facial recognition as "technology without a future" that would destroy fundamental freedoms. In the meantime, calls for a ban on the instrument in public spaces are increasing.


. (TagsToTranslate) Privacy (t) EDSA (t) Face Detection (t) video surveillance