A campaign has started in Europe to call for an end to biometric surveillance

A campaign has started in Europe to call for an end to biometric surveillance

The Hermes Center and other European associations lead the battle to put a stop to the intrusiveness of certain technologies such as facial recognition.

Facial recognition (Getty Images) There is still too much fog around the use of technologies of biometric video surveillance, especially when it comes to facial recognition. Where does the data go? In Russia, a human rights activist, Anna Kutznetsova, has entered some Telegram groups. As the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports, paying the sum of 16 thousand rubles (about 175 euros) and sending a photo of a person, Kutznetsova had to wait only 2 days to receive more than 79 photos of the subject and all the movements made within the city. . The images provided came from the video surveillance system installed by the local authorities that a hacker managed to violate without too many problems by freely accessing unprotected sensitive data.

Reclaim Your Face

Just to avoid that this sort of thing happens and that facial recognition technologies can be used in a distorted and oppressive way by governments, the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights has joined other European associations in a campaign to get a ban on these surveillance systems.

The campaign is called Reclaim Your Face and aims to spark a public and transparent debate on the risks, individual and collective, to which citizens are exposed given the current uses of facial recognition. The inter-European coalition calls on countries to disclose and reject the use of biometric surveillance which could impact rights and freedoms in public spaces. For this reason, an online petition has been opened since November 12 with the aim of collecting 5,000 signatures. Already achieved and therefore relaunched to 10 thousand.

#ReclaimYourFace: launched yesterday, the campaign has already collected 5,147 signatures in Italy. We are delighted with the result! The goal is now to reach 10,000: will you sign too?

P. S news coming in the next few days ✨ @ReclaimYourFace pic.twitter.com/EkHWNagPMV

- Hermes Center (@HermesCenter ) November 13, 2020

In Europe, according to research carried out by Edri (European Digital Rights), at least 15 countries have already experimented with biometric surveillance technologies such as facial recognition in public spaces. Technology that five major cities in the United States have already banned. In Italy Wired documented the case of the facial recognition system in the hands of the police, Sari, in whose database 8 out of 10 photos were of foreigners, and that of the city of Como.

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