Open letter calling for global ban on biometric recognition technologies that enable mass and discriminatory surveillance | Joint open letter

Full pdf statement | List of 179 signatories from 55 countries | Join the campaign

LRWC has joined 179 signatories from 55 countries in an open letter released 7 June 2021 calling for a global ban on the uses of facial biometric recognition technologies that enable mass surveillance and discriminatory targeted surveillance. These tools have the capacity to identify, follow, single out, and track people everywhere they go, undermining  human rights and civil liberties — including the rights to privacy and data protection, the right to freedom of expression, the rights to freedom of assembly and association (leading to the criminalization of protest), and the rights to equality and non-discrimination.

These uses of facial and remote biometric recognition technologies, by design, threaten people’s rights and have already caused significant harm. No technical or legal safeguards could ever fully eliminate the threat they pose, and we therefore believe they should never be allowed in public or publicly accessible spaces, either by governments or the private sector.

Facial recognition and remote biometric recognition technologies have enabled human rights abuses in many countries, including China, the United States, Russia, the UK, Uganda, Kenya, Slovenia, Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates,Israel, and India, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, and Italy.

The statement was drafted by Access Now, Amnesty International, European Digital Rights (EDRi), Human Rights Watch, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF),and Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa doConsumidor (IDEC). See the full letter. See the full list of 179 signatories. Organizations and individuals may sign the letter.