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Law on public facial recognition surveillance submitted in Monaco

Law on public facial recognition surveillance submitted in Monaco

The tiny country of Monaco is set to debate its first law on public video surveillance systems with remote biometric identification. The draft bill, number 1087, was submitted to the country’s national parliament last week.

According to the government, the new law introducing the technology will tackle an increase in threats to public order, including identifying individuals with international arrest warrants, the Monaco Tribune reports. The Monaco Principality police force is already using over 1,000 CCTV cameras to enhance public security in the city which are currently not hooked up to facial recognition software.

The country will not have to look far for role models. In 2019, the neighboring city of Nice in France became “France’s most heavily watched city” when Monegasque cybersecurity company Confidentia trialed its facial recognition system during the popular Nice carnival. Monaco, however, just like France, will have to tackle the European Union’s strict laws on biometric data gathering as well as the upcoming Artificial Intelligence Act, which reached a provisional agreement in December.

The draft bill notes that while the GDPR is “intended to be particularly restrictive, it should be noted that EU law is not very explicit on the requirements relating to this ‘absolute’ character, which would justify the appropriateness of implementing data processing relating to the remote biometric identification of wanted persons in places accessible to the public, in the interests of public safety.”

How the bill will align with the restrictions on remote biometrics imposed by the AI Act remains to be seen.

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