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Facial recognition in Monaco?

reconnaissance faciale monaco

A National Council Bill

Monaco recently took a major step forward with the presentation of a long-awaited bill on facial recognition to the National Council, heralding lively debates in 2024. The Principality’s government aims to provide a legal framework for this technology in response to growing threats.

BSS Monaco explains all about this technology:

Facial recognition, which has already proved its worth at international events such as the G20 Summit in 2017 and the Nice Carnival in 2019, could soon be integrated into the Principality, consolidating its high-security standards, a key pillar of its appeal.

This bill aims to automate the detection of suspicious movements, individuals, or objects, thereby facilitating decision-making for video surveillance operators. However, it emphasizes that this technology should not replace human intervention. Currently, operators at the Operational Command and Control Center (OCCC) perform these tasks visually, overseeing nearly 1,000 cameras across the country for activities such as identifying wanted individuals and coordinating police interventions.

Although the use of facial recognition is currently limited, debates about its potential are controversial. The bill has been submitted to the Legislation Committee for review and possible amendment. It seeks to regulate “the use of video surveillance and surveillance of public places for the detection, search, and identification of individuals wanted or reported by remote biometric recognition systems”. Artificial intelligence could play an essential role in the rapid detection of critical situations, without however being used to identify every individual, thus addressing concerns linked to privacy and individual freedoms.

The Pros and Cons of Facial Recognition

On the eve of the potential introduction of facial recognition in Monaco, it’s crucial to examine the pros and cons of this emerging technology. On the positive side, facial recognition could enhance security, enabling faster detection of movements, suspicious individuals, or potentially dangerous objects. This automation could facilitate the work of video surveillance operators, increasing the efficiency of their interventions.

However, there are concerns about the implications for privacy and individual freedoms. The collection and storage of biometric data raises ethical and legal issues, requiring strict regulation to prevent abuse. The risk of false identifications underlines the need for careful consideration of the ethical and social aspects of using this technology.

For all your digital needs in Monaco, please contact BSS Monaco. We’re here to help you navigate the Principality’s ever-changing digital world.