Greens Warn of Facial Recognition Tech Risks

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The Greens have called on the State Government to ‘step up’ on progressing privacy protections to address risks in the use of facial recognition technology after Police Commissioner Grant Stevens this week called for greater SAPOL access to facial recognition capabilities.

No specific laws currently directly regulate the use of facial recognition technology in Australia, despite all Australian policing agencies using or trialing these technologies. The South Australian Public Sector’s Information Privacy Principles do not apply to SAPOL.

In October last year Greens MLC Tammy Franks moved a motion calling on the South Australian Parliament to establish a regulatory framework clearly identifying and defining when and how facial recognition technology can be used.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“South Australians deserve both privacy and a safe community. We as a community need to ask: what level of mass surveillance are we prepared to accept, how will it be used, what happens when things go wrong, and who will watch the watchers?”

“The lack of legislative protections around the use of facial recognition data heightens the risk of data being misused and of people being unfairly targeted or being monitored without a legitimate reason.”

“The public has a right to privacy, and where that privacy is limited by necessity, we have a right to know how and why. It is essential that State Parliament commits to establishing a regulatory framework clearly defines when and how facial recognition technology can be used.”