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We should adopt a Moratorium on Facial regognition technology

The spread of facial recognition technology across the globe could become a real threat to our individual freedoms and rights. Even big tech companies, and in particular Microsoft, raised serious alarm about a very intrusive technology which would be available to all the authorities including the authoritarian regimes. "Without a thoughtful approach, public authorities may rely on flawed or biased technological approaches to decide who to track, investigate or even arrest for a crime" (Brad Smith Microsoft Pt and Chief Legal Officer). Is facial recognition "the perfect tool for oppression?" (Woodrow Hartzog-Stanford CIS). Could this technology lead to systematic abuse? This is a highly plausible hypothesis. China already has 170 million security cameras combining artificial intelligence with facial recognition technology (Re: Business Insider). The ultimate goal of the Chinese government -on the pretext of security- is to enable the tracking and monitoring of its 1.4 billion citizens. And one can imagine in a later stage the installation of these technologies in dwelling houses. It must be said, that the blanket surveillance of citizens gained many supporters even in Western countries. Should we then ban these technologies? We must be realistic. Governments and security agencies will make every effort to ensure that this intrusive technology becomes an integral part of everyday life. Therefore, we need to be aware of the dangers of an absence of an effective legal regulation on this matter. Civil society organizations should ask for a moratorium on this major issue for our democracies.

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