Italy prohibited the use of facial recognition and smart glasses
Italy’s Data Protection Agency issued a reprimand to two towns that were conducting experiments with facial recognition and “smart glasses,” effectively outlawing the use of both technologies in the country. According to the privacy watchdog, the use of facial recognition systems that make use of biometric data will not be permitted until either a special law is passed or at least until the end of the next year. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when these technologies are used as part of a legal investigation or to stop criminal activity.
“The moratorium arises from the need to regulate eligibility requirements, conditions, and guarantees relating to facial recognition, in compliance with the principle of proportionality,” the agency said in a statement.
It was underlined that the processing of personal data by public bodies using video devices is generally permissible on grounds of public interest and when linked to the operation of public authorities under the laws of the European Union and Italy. However, according to the report, local governments that want to make use of them are required to negotiate “urban security pacts” with representatives of the central government.
The agency’s action was in response to measures taken in the city of Lecce, which is located in southern Italy. There, local authorities announced that they will start utilizing a technology that is based on facial recognition. The watchdog stated that the municipality was given the order to produce a description of the systems that were adopted, as well as their purpose and the legal foundation upon which they are based, as well as a list of databases that are accessed by its monitoring devices. The privacy watchdog also went after the city of Arezzo, which is in Tuscany and was going to give its local police force infrared super glasses that can read license plates.