9 December 2019
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has said it extremely concerned about growing and unnecessary use of Facial Recognition Technology in Irish society. The statement comes on the back of news that the New Children’s Hospital may employ Hikvision CCTV cameras with end-to-end facial recognition technology.
ICCL’s privacy rights expert, Elizabeth Farries, said
“The New Children’s Hospital contracting face surveillance technology for children accessing medical care would be incredibly invasive. Children are afforded enhanced personal data protections under the law. Deploying this tech in this manner would run afoul of those protections. It’s expensive, inaccurate, discriminatory, and in this situation, likely unlawful.
Hikvision has been embroiled in scandals regarding its human rights record, including use of their cameras in China’s re-education camps.
The latest FRT controversy reflects a growing move towards the use of this technology without a clear basis in law, and without adequate tests showing that it is necessary. The privatisation of this form of surveillance raises further alarm bells.
Ms Farries continued
“To protect everyone’s rights, including children’s, the state should not install these face surveillance systems in hospitals in the first instance, and certainly not in cooperation with private surveillance companies with controversial rights track records. A data protection impact assessment would demonstrate the risks. Has the New Children’s Hospital conducted one?”
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is Ireland’s leading independent human rights campaigning organisation. We monitor, educate and campaign to secure human rights for everyone in Ireland.
Elizabeth Farries is ICCL’s Information Rights Programme Manager
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