EDPB releases guidelines on facial recognition technology in law enforcement
The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has adopted final guidelines on facial recognition technology in law enforcement, ensuring responsible and compliant usage. The guidelines stress the need for strict adherence to the Law Enforcement Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, highlighting the necessity and proportionality of facial recognition tools. They also reiterate the call for a ban in certain cases.
The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has published the final version of its Guidelines on facial recognition technology (FRT) in the area of law enforcement. These guidelines aim to provide directions to lawmakers and law enforcement authorities in the European Union (EU) on the implementation and use of facial recognition technology systems. The guidelines aim to provide clear and practical guidance to EU and national lawmakers, as well as law enforcement authorities, to ensure that facial recognition technology is used responsibly, ethically, and in accordance with data protection laws.
The guidelines emphasise the importance of using facial recognition tools in strict compliance with the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) and within the boundaries set by the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Emphasising that the use of such tools should be necessary and proportionate to the situation at hand. Additionally, the EDPB reiterates its previous call for a ban on the use of facial recognition technology in specific cases, as previously stated in the EDPB-EDPS joint opinion on the proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act.
The document explains that the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement authorities can interfere with fundamental rights and democratic stability. FRT, which processes biometric data and often incorporates artificial intelligence, poses risks such as discrimination and false results. Therefore, a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is mandatory before using FRT, and the results should be made public.
After a period of public consultation, the guidelines were updated and revised to include further clarifications. These revisions aim to address any concerns raised during the consultation process and ensure that the guidelines provide comprehensive and practical guidance for the use of facial recognition technology in law enforcement.