WORKING PAPER • VOL. 7 • N° 29 • October 2021

Facial recognition, visual and biometric data in the US. Recent, promising developments to regulate intrusive technologies

by Paul De Hert and Georgios Bouchagiar


Biometric and visual surveillance has taken new forms and sizes. While private and public actors deploy intrusive technologies that are more and more specific, the European Union’s approach to the processing of biometric and visual data remains rather abstract and tech-neutral. This working paper discusses various initiatives and regulations of the United States that could become a useful source of inspiration for European audiences. We detect five elements; namely, concreteness of the law when targeting specific technologies, clarity on its scope, precision regarding certain requirements, banning certain technologies or uses of them and organisation of remedies. In our view, these features could be particularly useful and help to protect more effectively biometric and visual data in the European Union.

Keywords: face recognition, visual data, biometric data, surveillance


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