Commissioner: Do not introduce surveillance cameras without public discussion and outside the law

Commissioner: Do not introduce surveillance cameras without public discussion and outside the law

Speaking on the possible introduction of cameras with face recognition software in Belgrade, Serbia’s Public Importance and Personal Data Protection Information Commissioner Milan Marinovic said it was necessary to first enact a law on biometric data processing or a law on video surveillance. , Which will regulate all types of video surveillance, including biometric.

According to data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs available to the commissioner, Belgrade plans to install 8,100 cameras, including biometric, and police have also purchased mobile cameras: vehicles and cameras must be worn by police officers in uniform.

“The truth is, this is a very aggressive and sharp move to monitor security in a public place and control behavior.” Some citizens choose security and some choose the security of their data. But if the security situation can be controlled by using light measures in every situation, it should not be introduced more strictly, ”Marinovic said.

He said that Serbia had not first come up with the idea of ​​introducing face recognition cameras and that the idea was still under consideration and if all the conditions were met, its realization was planned by the end of 2021.

He emphasized the need to hold a public debate on the issue, and said that it was important to do so.

As commissioner of personal data protection, he pointed out that he would always support counter-arguments, but he still could not deny examples that helped prevent this type of surveillance crime in the world and find missing persons.

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Marinovic said it would be necessary to take all data protection measures if biometric surveillance is introduced – to know the purpose of data collection and storage, to mark the place where it is recorded, to contact the authorities to inspect citizens, to know how data is stored and for how long, who can access it.

This year, Marinovic recalled that in a statement sent by the commissioner’s agency, the Interior Ministry, “there is no appropriate legal basis for processing biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying individuals using video surveillance.

“We consider that there is no legal possibility to implement it at this time because the law does not regulate the processing of biometric data,” Marinovic said.

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