Panel Discussion Organized by the OBVIA (International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology)

Professor Céline Castets-Renard was a panelist at the OBVIA International Panel on Legal Issues in Facial Recognition from an International Perspective. The panel, organized in response to the report written by Professor Céline Castets-Renard, brought together European and American researchers to launch the debate on the use of this technology.

Facial recognition devices are increasingly used by police forces in public spaces for surveillance and public safety purposes. The technology is used, for example, to detect potential criminals and terrorists among spectators at large events such as stadiums or concert halls. Other advantages are highlighted, such as saving time or simplifying the work of police forces. However, the risks of individual civil rights infringement that can be induced by these devices are enormous. The feeling of being watched can lead to a form of self-censorship on the part of citizens, particularly with regard to their participation in public life and, more generally, the exercise of their fundamental freedoms. The use of facial recognition can interfere with freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly. The right to privacy and the protection of personal data are also at risk. Facial recognition technology can also undermine the dignity of individuals and affect the right to non-discrimination. It can affect the rights of specific groups, such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities or racialized populations. In addition, although facial recognition technology is developing, the error rate remains high, particularly for certain populations, such as African Americans and Indigenous people.

This content has been updated on 16 April 2021 at 20 h 01 min.