Throughout the EU, governments are experimenting with highly intrusive systems of facial recognition and other biometric mass surveillance in public spaces.


These technologies fuel mass surveillance and racial discrimination. Biometric surveillance is an enormous breach of our right to privacy. It happens without our consent and its effects are chilling. Technology that tracks and classifies us if we look nervous or stressed, if we dress or look different, or if we’re just acting plain weird, should simply not exist in a democratic society where we have the right to be free and the right to our privacy.

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Stay informed about our work on biometric mass surveillance in Europe


We need the European Commission to impose a ban of biometric mass surveillance technologies throughout the European Union and to acknowledge the adverse effect ofbiometric surveillance methods on our fundamental rights.

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We want a ban on indiscriminate biometric surveillance in public spaces.

This means we want to prohibit:
:x: Cameras on the streets, at demonstrations or at events that : identify you, monitor your mood or movements, or follow where you go

This following should be allowed:
:coche_blanche: You can still unlock your phone with your face
:coche_blanche: Any other face verification technologies to verify a person is who they say they are


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Surveillance camera
Opinion |

Facial recognition in European cities: What you should know about biometric mass surveillance

Saskia Bricmont
Opinion by Saskia Bricmont
As an effort to promote privacy and human rights in the EU, we at Greens/EFA got together with a team of international experts to understand where biometric mass surveillance is put to use all over Europe. Find out what we learned, and why must take action to ban the use of these technologies now - before it is too late.
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Photo by Michał Jakubowski on Unsplash
CCTV cameras
Press release |

European Parliament votes for ban on biometric mass surveillance

Members of the European Parliament have adopted a report on the use of Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Law. This vote is a breakthrough moment in the fight to halt the use of intrusive and discriminatory uses of mass surveillance tools by police authorities. Greens/EFA have long called for a ban on these highly intrusive and error-pro…
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Event |

Coded Bias – On Discriminatory Algorithms and the Need to Ban Biometric Mass Surveillance Technologies

The Greens/EFA campaign against biometric mass surveillance is organizing a screening of Shalini Kantayya’s award-winning documentary “Coded Bias” followed by a panel debate on algorithmic biases and how they are being addressed in the Artificial Intelligence Regulation.
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Who is watching you?
Opinion |

Reinforce rights, not racism!

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield
Opinion by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP in conversation with Laurence Meyer, from the Digital Freedom Fund, about the dangers of the increasing use of biometric mass surveillance - both within the EU and outside it, as well as the impact it can have on the lives of people who are already being discriminated against.
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Press release |

Commission proposal on AI good first step but fails to tackle biometric surveillance

The European Commission has presented its proposal for a regulation on artificial intelligence (AI). The Greens/EFA Group welcomes clear rules in the Commission's first legislative proposal on AI, but criticises the fact that automatic facial recognition continues to be allowed in public spaces.
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Opinion |

Why we must stop biometric surveillance in the EU

Patrick Breyer
Opinion by Patrick Breyer
EDRi (the European Digital Rights network) has launched a European Citizen's Initiative calling for a ban on the use of biometric mass surveillance in public spaces. How could these technologies affect the lives of everyday people?
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Event |

Face surveillance vs Facial Authentication: What is it and why should biometric mass surveillance be banned in the public space?

Often when people think of facial recognition, they think about unlocking their phones with their face. Facial authentication is used to verify that someone is who they say they are, when for example gaining secured access to a building or traveling through a passport gate. This is a one-to-one comp...

The biometric outrun

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament launches a social impact video game, raising awareness on the urgent need to ban biometric surveillance in public spaces.

The playful, yet serious game will be used to inform and generate a deeper interest in the broader public about the risks of biometric data gathered in public spaces.

The player’s task is to navigate through public places and try to avoid different levels of surveillance systems. The pedagogic setting of the game calls on the player to collect real information, like news and articles, about the current state of the debate on the ban of biometrics. Each stage, however, brings the player to a higher level of surveillance.


or download for free here:

interactive map on current practices of biometric mass surveillance in the European Union

The map displays the current deployments and the actors of remote biometric identification (RBI) technologies in the EU