ECHR receives first complaint about facial recognition system in Moscow

TASS Russian News Agency | Jul 6, 2020 at 11:54 AM

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. A complaint about the use of the facial recognition video surveillance system was addressed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, the lawyers of the Agora human rights organization who prepared the document told TASS.

In claimants' opinion, Russian authorities by using the facial recognition technology violate several articles of the Convention at once: Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life), Article 11 (Right to freedom of assembly and association), Article 14 (Protection from discrimination) since the use of the facial recognition technology was not politically neutral, and Article 13 (Right to an effective remedy).

On September 29 of last year, an authorized rally was held on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow where the facial recognition technology was used for the first time. One could access the rally only through the police cordon. The cameras were mounted on the metal detector arches at the level of human height.

Earlier, politician Vladimir Milov and social activist Alyona Popova appealed to Moscow courts with lawsuits against the capital's department of information technologies and against the police asking to declare the use of such technologies illegal. On the majority of lawsuits the Moscow courts sided with the authorities, yet in the middle of June the Moscow City Court decided to review Milov's legal claim against authorities and police on the use of facial recognition after an individual appeal of the district court's decision. After that the activists decided to turn to the ECHR.