China’s Supreme People’s Court issues rules to regulate use of facial recognition technology

The Supreme People’s Court of China has issued a set of judicial rules to regulate the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) by the private sector. According to the rules, in effect from 1 August 2021, hotels, shopping malls, airports, and other commercial venues must obtain consent from customers to use FRT. In addition, the use of the technology should not exceed what is necessary, and measures must be taken to protect users’ data. Also included in the rules is a framework for individuals to sue the companies if they consider that their privacy rights are breached. The rules – which do not apply to FRT uses by the public sector –  are based on a decision taken in April 2021 by an appeals court, which ruled that the Hangzhou Safari Park’s had no legal basis to collect visitors’ biometric data and had not taken appropriate measures to protect the data.