Ban Facial Recognition Surveillance

By Digital Rights Watch


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A little bit of context

Your face is being tracked. You are being tracked. On every street, in every park, as you sit at the train station or walk to work. Currently, there are no specific laws that govern what can and cannot be done using facial recognition technologies.

Digital Rights Watch has been defending and promoting privacy rights for a number of years. We need your help to to ban the use of facial recogntition technologies from our public spaces.

The problem

Surveillance using face recognition technologies is on the rise.

Corporations are arguing that facial recognition can improve productivity levels and provide access to services, and law and order, while government agencies such as the police claim that these systems will help improve public safety.

Unfortunately, our elected representatives are turning a blind eye and allowing these facial recognition technologies to be used throughout our communities without controls or oversight.

Facial recognition technologies can seriously undermine our democratic and human rights.

Facial recognition systems create some major problems:

They invade our privacy - we cannot be anonymous in public spaces and our privacy is invaded no matter where we go. Facial recognition systems track and record our movements - even if we have done nothing wrong. We must have a right to privacy and anonymity as we move through our towns and cities.

They are inaccurate and biased - research suggests that the technologies are delivering inaccurate results and are discriminatory - especially when the technologies attempt to recognise people with darker complexions. They often produce false positives that are built on existing racist, sexist or classist bias within law enforcement and judicial systems.

There are no regulations or laws to govern the technologies - currently, Australia has no regulatory or legal frameworks that govern facial recognition technologies. This means that companies, governments and their staff can do whatever they like without legal oversight.

Support Our Campaign

People-power can influence change, and without public support, the surveillance of our movements and behaviour using face recognition technologies are going to increase without any checks or limitations in place.

Your support will help Digital Rights Watch increase public awareness and create a movement that demands a society free of widespread surveillance. Your support will help us set up a team that will:

  • Create a short video about face recognition technologies and their impact on our democracy and fundamental rights. We will share this widely through social media and networks to ensure everyone is aware of the issues.

  • Organise public events and forums that create a movement to challenge the widespread use of surveillance and oppose the use of facial recognition in our cities and public institutions such as schools.

  • Conduct meetings with decision-makers, policy advisors, politicians and councillors and ask them to push for a ban on the use of facial recognition systems and the creation of laws and regulations that govern automated surveillance.

Digital Rights Watch depends on donations from people like you. We need your support to enable us to make face recognition surveillance a focus during 2020.

How you can help

Please support our work to build a people-powered movement that pushes for a moratorium on the use of face recognition technologies. We need to raise $25,000 to make this campaign effective, and we ask for your kind donation.

We will use the funds to focus on our energy and allocate resources to empowering the public across Australia to drive for change and demand a society without widespread automated surveillance using face recognition technologies.


About Digital Rights Watch

Our vision is for a digital world where all humanity can thrive, and where diversity and creativity flourishes. To ensure this, our digital world must be underpinned by equality, freedom and established human rights principles. Its evolution and future must be guided and driven by the interests of all people and the environments we live in.

We exist to defend and promote this vision - to ensure fairness, freedoms and fundamental rights for all Australians in the digital world.

Digital Rights Watch is a registered national charity. We have been defending and promoting digital rights since 2016. We are a mostly volunteer organisation, and depend on generation donations from the public to do our work.

Find out more about Digital Rights Watch:

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Digital Rights Watch