#Privacy: France issues first legal decision on facial recognition

The Administrative Court (TA) of Marseille has made its decision regarding the use of facial recognition technology at two French high schools. 

In a hearing before the TA, with La Quadrature du Net, The Human Rights League, the FCPE and CGT Educ’Action des Alpes Maritimes, the installation of a facial recognition system at the entrance of two French high schools were discussed. 

Yesterday, the TA ruled against the installation of the technology, stating that its deployment violated the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as students were not able to provide consent “to the collection of personal data in a free and informed manner.”

Additionally, the court ruled that the technology was a disproportionate measure to manage the high school, especially with other alternative measures being available and less detrimental to students’ rights. 

This ruling is the first jurisdictional decision on facial recognition in France. 

“We hope that it will be followed by other similar decisions leading to the total ban on facial recognition,” said the La Quadrature du Net

Last December, La Quadrature du Net published a joint letter with 124 organisations calling on the government and Parliament to ban all practices of facial recognition. 


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