Direktor zavoda Državljan D, Domen Savič, se je kot govorec udeležil dogodka v Evropskem parlamentu, na katerem so nevladne organizacije iz cele Evrope opozarjale na problem biometričnega nadzora. Dogodek je organiziral poslanec Zelenih v Evropskem parlamentu, MEP Patrick Breyer.

“Dogodek je pomembna prelomnica pri spremljanju področja biometričnih tehnologij družbe nadzora v Sloveniji, saj smo s predstavitvijo posameznih analiziranih primerov iz javne in zasebne sfere v Sloveniji opozorili na širino problema,” dogodek komentira Savič.

Na dogodku je več nevladnih organizacij iz celotne Evropske unije predstavilo problematične vidike biometričnega nadzora in od Evropskega parlamenta zahtevalo, naj te prakse v celoti prepovejo.

Govor Domna Saviča na dogodku objavljamo v celoti:

Dear MEPs, participants and other guests! Let me first extend some words of gratitude for inviting me so speak at such an important event regarding biometric surveillance and emphasize the urge for a complete ban of technologies that enable it.

My name is Domen Savič, I run a digital rights NGO in Slovenia called Citizen D and for the last few years one of our key topics of investigation were the uses and misuses of local biometric and video surveillance. We are convinced the technologies enabling biometric surveillance have to be banned completely because of the following reasons.

Reason number 1: Biometric surveillance technology is very opaque. When Buzzfeed published a report in 2021 on the usage of Clearview AI by public authorities around the world, one of the users on the list was the slovenian police. The police denied the usage but added it is possible »one unknown police officer was offered access as to test the system and assess its usability.« We still don’t know who that police officer was, what was the nature of »the test« and what kind of relationship the ClearviewAI currently has with the Slovenian police. Similar thing happened when a Spain-based company ran a pilot biometric project at the Slovenian main airport in 2019 and exported the biometric data into third country without their explicit consent. The Slovenian Information commissioner reported issues with obtaining a response from the company related to the nature and the extent of the exported biometric data and finally found violation of the biometric surveillance law.

Reason number 2: Biometric surveillance criminalizes the entire population. In 2017 a woman reported a mugging in the capitol of Slovenia to the police. She then visited a sketch artist who helped her draw a picture of the attacker. After the police ran the image through their biometric database, one of the images that came back as a possible match was a publicly available photo of the woman’s boyfriend. After the woman protested, the police explained they’re gathering all of the publicly available photos to get »the best results« in investigations. The same model was used in curbing free speech and freedom of expression at anti-government protests in Slovenia in 2021.

Reason number 3: The industry of biometric surveillance is very good at dodging regulation that limit the usage of the technology. We have investigated several of the local cases where a so-called pseudo-biometric surveillance solutions are used, which do not use actual biometric analysis, but achieve a similar results with the so-called shape library. We confirmed the usages of these pseudo-biometric technologies in the international port of Koper and the adjacent cargo railway station in Slovenia and also found a court ruling in Turin, Italy that labels the usage of such technology as biometric surveillance.

Citizens and decision-makers are often scared into complying with biometric surveillance technologies. In several cases of public debates the false argument of choosing security or privacy was used by the authorities to force citizens and decision-makers into complying with the ever-expanding surveillance society. At the same time, digital rights NGOs and other activists have trouble reaching out to the decision-makers and find a sympathetic ear to the pleas for the ban because the lobbying industry is just too powerful in this area.

The technology is completely opaque, the decision-makers are pressured into supporting it and its effectiveness is highly dubious. At the same time the technology is used to abuse human rights, target innocent individuals and support the global surveillance industry. As a citizen of the European Union, I urge you to reconsider the usage of biometric surveillance technologies in private and in public sector and ban it completely.

Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.