Panel discussion: Legal issues on facial recognition from an international perspective

Informations sur l'événement


18 novembre 2020


10:00 - 11:30



Following the report written by Professor Céline Castets-Renard on the legal framework of facial recognition used by police forces (September 2020), OBVIA is organizing an international panel bringing together European and American researchers to launch debates on the use of this technology.

Facial recognition devices are increasingly used by police forces in the public space for surveillance and public security purposes. This technology is used, for example, to detect potential criminals and terrorists among spectators at large events such as stadiums or concert halls. Other advantages are highlighted, such as saving time or simplifying the work of police forces. However, the risks of infringements on individual civil rights that may be induced by these devices are huge. The feeling of being watched can lead to a form of self-censorship on the part of citizens, particularly with regard to their participation in public life and, more broadly, the exercise of their fundamental freedoms. The use of facial recognition can interfere with freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly. The right to privacy and the protection of personal data are also threatened. Facial recognition technology can also undermine the dignity of individuals and affect the right to non-discrimination. It can affect the rights of specific groups, such as children, elderly and disabled, ethnic minorities or racialized populations. In addition, while facial recognition technology is developing, the error rate remains high, especially for certain categories of populations, such as African-Americans and indigenous people.

About our moderator

Benoît Dupont, Scientific Director of the Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC)

Benoît Dupont is a Professor of Criminology at the Université de Montréal and the Scientific Director of the Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC), which he founded in 2014. He is the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity since 2016, after having held the Canada Research Chair in Security and Technology between 2006 and 2016. Benoît sits as an observer representing the research community on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX) and he is also a member of CATAAlliance’s Cybercrime Advisory Council. 

About our speakers

Céline Castets-Renard, full Law professor at the University of Ottawa

Céline Castets-Renard, full Law professor at the University of Ottawa and Chair holder on Accountable AI in a global context. She’s been a professor at Université Toulouse Capitole in France since 2012, where she had previously been a lecturer in private law from 2002 to 2012. 

Carly Kind, Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute

Carly Kind is the Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute, an independent research institute and deliberative body a remit to ensure data and AI work for people and society. A human rights lawyer and leading authority on the intersection of technology policy and human rights, Carly has advised industry, government and non-profit organisations on digital rights, privacy and data protection, and corporate accountability in the technology sphere. She has worked with the European Commission, the Council of Europe, numerous UN bodies and a range of civil society organisations. She was formerly Legal Director of Privacy International, an NGO dedicated to promoting data rights and governance.

Caroline Lequesne-Roth

Rashida Richardson

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