University of Twente Student Theses


Beyond Data Protection: Applying the GDPR to Facial Recognition Technology

Tangerding, Ellen (2021) Beyond Data Protection: Applying the GDPR to Facial Recognition Technology.

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Abstract:The use of facial recognition technology [FRT] poses various societal challenges particularly regarding the current data protection legal system of the EU. This research identifies these challenges and elaborates the following research question: To what extent is the use of facial recognition technology for non-law enforcement purposes compatible with the EU’s current legislative framework? Following a mainly comparative but also argumentative approach three different cases of EU member states regarding the use of FRT and their respective regulatory approach to FRT will be analyzed. In doing so, the theoretical focus of this thesis lies on the one hand, on the two fundamental rights to privacy and data protection as constituted in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and, on the other hand, on the EU’s data protection principles laid out in Art. 5 GDPR. In principle, FRT use can be compatible with the GDPR if certain requirements are met. In practice, however, the GDPR leaves a lot of room for interpretation and discretion with the EU member states which facilitates an unequivocal regulatory environment and a highly complex, time-consuming, and inscrutable case-to-case assessment of FRT use throughout the EU.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 86 law, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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