Italy to ban use of facial recognition tech by municipalities

Italy to ban use of facial recognition tech by municipalities
Photo: Pawel Czerwinski - Unsplash

Italy has announced that it will ban the use of facial recognition and ‘smart glasses’, with the Data Protection Agency criticising two municipal governments who have trialled their usage. 

The privacy watchdog announced that there will be a prohibition on the usage of facial recognition systems using biometric data until a specific law is adopted to regulate them. 

Under both EU and Italian law, the processing of personal data by public bodies using video devices is for the most part permitted if it is considered to be on public interest grounds and is being made of use by public authorities. However, if local governments wish to use them, they will need to make agreements with the central government in order to do so. 

The decision has come in response to measures taken in the southern city of Lecce, where authorities announced intentions to begin using technology based on facial recognition. In response, the watchdog has ordered the municipality to explain what they intend to do with this information. 

Similarly, in the Tuscan city of Arezzo, there had been plans in place to equip local police with infrared super glasses that are able to recognise car number plates. 

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