European Digital Rights (EDRi) is asking the European Union to ban all forms of biometric mass surveillance. The organization’s latest paper also calls for the suspension of any such programs that are already in place, noting that biometric surveillance is currently being explored in at least 15 EU member states.
EDRi is a digital rights collective that includes 44 civil and digital rights organizations, all of which signed off on the latest missive. They argue that biometric surveillance would violate people’s fundamental right to privacy, increase civic mistrust, suppress freedom of expression, and lead to widespread discrimination.
“Accepting intrusive biometric mass surveillance in our public spaces means accepting that our bodies and faces can and will be recorded as if we were in a perpetual police lineup,” said EDRi Policy Head Diego Naranjo. “If companies or governments can deploy such technology, we risk increased population control and manipulation without our knowledge, as well as a deepening of power imbalances and lack of accountability.”