Face-off in UK court over police use of facial recognition technology

21 May 2019

An office worker who believes his image was captured by facial recognition cameras in the street by the police has launched a legal action against the use of such technology. An UK court heard on the 21 May arguments from him and public authorities. According to the Guardian, the office worker argued that he had a reasonable expectation that his face would not be scanned in a public space and processed without his consent while he was not suspected of wrongdoing. On the other hand, the police developed that facial recognition does not infringe privacy rights.

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Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.


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