EU Civil Rights Groups Wants Ban on Biometric Mass Surveillance

"Governments, law enforcement, and businesses used recording devices, such as surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, to collect our unique biometric data. They track us using our unique features to identify us permanently. The large-scale collection of everyone's biometric data. in public spaces such as parks, train stations and shops, just to run our lives is biometric mass surveillance, ” said the coalition behind Reclaim Your Face.

The coalition has started a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and hopes to achieve a ban on biometric mass

surveillance by means of new laws and regulations. Processing biometric data is already prohibited within the EU. However, there are several problematic exceptions to this ban, according to the coalition. "Powerful players are taking advantage of this legal confusion by introducing these harmful technologies into our public spaces outside of democratic scrutiny, treating us all like walking barcodes," the coalition continued.

One of the parties that is part of the coalition is the German hacker club Chaos Computer Club (CCC). According to the CCC, all steps we take online are already recorded. In the offline world this is a lot more difficult. The many camera systems are not connected to each other and produce too much data to process it on a large scale. This prevents mass surveillance in public areas. However, biometric surveillance would make monitoring our daily lives a reality, the CCC warns.

If the coalition manages to collect 1 million signatures in at least seven EU countries in the coming year, the European Commission will be obliged to come up with a response and enter into a debate with members of the European Parliament. "European citizens have a historic opportunity to stop evil before biometric mass surveillance is permanently present in our society," the coalition concluded.

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