Facial recognition: a challenge for europe or a threat to human rights?

Konstantinos Kouroupis


This article deals with the issue of the use of facial recognition, mainly in the European Union. Its purpose is to provide a thorough and coherent analysis of its lawfulness in accordance with the European legislation. Even though there is a concrete legal background provided by European Directives and Regulations, many EU member states apply facial recognition without a solid legal basis. Therefore, the article pursues to offer valid answers to data rights issues that arise. For this purpose, the study is divided into three axes. The first chapter provides a wide analysis of the European legislation which governs the use of facial recognition. Into the second chapter, special emphasis is given to the application of this method at national level. A critical approach is attempted with the aim to define the legal basis and illuminate the legal gaps raised. The third chapter gives an alternative approach of the issue since it demonstrates the wide use of facial technology at international level and its different legal regulation. The final conclusions not only reflect the research’s findings but also propose effective safeguards for the lawful application of the facial recognition in order to improve the European digital strategy. 


Data protection; Digital strategy; facial recognition; GDPR; privacy

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