Belgium Bans Private Facial Surveillance

By Charles Rollet, Published on Jul 06, 2018

Belgium has effectively banned the use of facial recognition and other biometrics-based video analytics in surveillance cameras for private, non-police use, taking a strong stand and showcasing the impact of new EU privacy regulations on video surveillance.

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What the Law Says

In March, Belgium passed an update to its 2007 surveillance camera law. Article 78 of the new camera law reads:

The use of intelligent surveillance cameras coupled with registries or databases of peoples’ personal characteristics is only authorized in the case of automatic license plate recognition, on the condition that these registries or databases are used responsibly according to the regulations protecting personal privacy.

Belgium's Data Protection Authority explained to IPVM that:

**** *** ****** *** - *** **** *** ban ** ****** *********** - **** ******* ** non-police *******.

Access ******* ****** *** ****** ************ ***

******* *** *** ***** specifically **** ************ *******, techniques **** ****** *********** are ***** ***** *** things **** ****** *******. However, ***** ************ ***** facial ****** ** ********* are ********** ***** **** require *** *** ** 'registries ** ********* ** peoples' ******** ***************' ** be ****.

Clear ****** ** ****

*******’* *** ****** *** is * ***** ******* of *** ****-******* ********* impact ** *** **’* new ******* **********, *** GDPR, ** *** ***** surveillance ********.

*** ****** *** **** went ********** ** *** ****, *** **** *** as *** ****.*** ******** ******** ****** the ***, *** ******, even ********* ** ** “GDPR-proof” ** ******.

*********, *** ****** ***’* biometrics *********** ** ******** by *** ****’******** *, ***** **** **** processing ***** ** **********, but **** ********* **********. (For **** ***********, *** IPVM’s **** ****** ******** ********************* *******).

Other ******* ** *** ***

*******’* *** ******** ****** law ******** ***** ***********, such **:

  • ******* ******** *** ***** organizations *** ******* ****** systems ** ******* **** to * ******* ****** registry. (**********, **** *** to ** **** ** Belgium’s ******* **********.) (******* 13.)
  • ******* **** ** *********** by * **** ********** their ***, *** *** cameras ****** **** ***** outside *** ******'* *******. However, ***** *********** ***’* apply ** ******* ******** setting ** ******* ** their ****. (******* *.)
  • ***** *** ** ****** up ** * *****, and ** ** ***** months ** ********* ***** determined ** *** ********** such ** ********. (******* 1).
  • ***** ********* ** *** racial, ******, ** ****** preferences *** ******* ******. (Article *).

Enforcement ******

**** ** *** *** was ** *****, "**%" of *********** *** ***** heard ** ** *** actual *********** ** *******'* camera **** *** ************ been *******, ******** *******, ***** ** Belgian ******** **************.** *** **** * legal ********* **** ******* for *** *********** ** truly ***** *** ****** consciousness, ********* ** *******.

** ** ******, ************** ***** ******** **** 100 ** **,*** *****. The ******* *********** **** intelligent ******* (******* *) falls ***** * **** category ** ******** **** 100 ** **,*** *****.

*********** ** *** *** is ** ** *******'* police, ***** ***** *** verifies *** ******** ****** registry, ***** **** *******'***** ********** *********.

*******, *** ******* *** told ****:

** ** **** *** responsibility ** ******** *************** and ************ ************* ** inform ***** ******* ***** the *** ****** ***.

Industry ******?

******* ** *** * larger ****** ** ******* many ***** ************ ************* heavily ********* ****** *********** / ************, **** **** not **** * *********** economic ****** *******. *******, if **** ******* **** of * ***** ** could.

More ********* ** ******?

****** ** ********* *** follow. ******* ****** ******** * prohibition ******* ***** ********* data, *******, ***** *** newness ** ****, **** exceptions ******** *** *** lack ** **** *** surrounding ** *** *** applications **** ***** ************,************ *********, ** ***** at ***** ****, *** ****** ** ignore ****. *******, ***** rising ******* ******** *** the ****'* ******** ** biometrics, **** ********* *** issue ******* ****** ******* the *** ** ******* facial ************.

Comments (2)

Charles, good article. Gert, thanks for posting this first as a comment. We are continuously looking for more European post topics so if anyone has ideas, let us know.

Btw, one analogy in the US is the state of Illinois, where facial recognition is effectively prohibited. For example, Google Nest disables their face feature inside of Illinois, as this article states:

For more, see Facial Recognition Legal Questions Texas And Illinois

Interesting. Good article.

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