Ban Facial Surveillance Technology

Ban Facial Surveillance Technology and

Other Forms of Mass Biometric Identification


October 2022

Istanbul, Turkey


We the undersigned call for a ban on the development, deployment, and use of facial surveillance technology and other forms of mass biometric identification.


Facial surveillance technology is now deployed for human identification, behavioral assessment, and predictive analysis. The impact is far-reaching and the technology is largely unregulated.


Facial surveillance technology is capable of scrutinizing entire urban areas, capturing the identities of tens or hundreds of thousands of people at any one time.


Facial surveillance technology can amplify identification asymmetry between people and devices as it is often hidden and data collection occurs surreptitiously.


Facial surveillance technology is used to suppress dissent, oppress minorities,  and limit political freedoms.



We also note with alarm recent reports about bias, coercion, and fraud in the collection of facial images.


We recall that in the 2009 Madrid Declaration, civil society called for a moratorium on the development or implementation of facial recognition, subject to a full and transparent evaluation by independent authorities and through democratic debate.


We recall also the 2019 Tirana Declaration calling for a A Moratorium on Facial Recognition Technology for Mass Surveillance. More than 100 organizations and 1,200 individual endorsed that statement.


And we recall the ReclaimYourFace campaign which has gathered gathered 80,000 individual supporters and partnered with 76 organisations from 20 European countries, representing over half a million people in support of a ban on mass surveillance.




  • We urge countries to ban the development and deployment of facial surveillance technology and other forms of mass biometric identification
  • We urge countries to review all facial surveillance systems currently in use to determine whether personal data was obtained lawfully and to destroy data that was obtained unlawfully; and
  • We urge countries to undertake research to assess bias, privacy and data protection, risk, and cyber vulnerability, as well as the ethical, legal, and social implications associated with the deployment of facial surveillance technologies.


Endorsements - Individuals


Giuliano Borter, CAIDP (Switzerland/Netherlands)

Dr. Sivaramakrishnan R Guruvayur, (UAE)

Prof.  Markus Krebsz, The Human-AI.Institute (Germany and UK)

Canan Erez (Germany)

Victor Famubode (Nigeria)

Bisma Shoaib (USA)

Saba Elizbarashvili (Georgia)

Annett Bonuke (Kenya)

Angel Arroyo (Spain)

Dalila Hoover, Esq., CIPP/US/E (United States)

Moises Velasco (España)

Mélissa M'Raidi-Kechichian (Canada/France)

Avantika Bhandari (United States)

Nayyara Rahman (Pakistan)

Dr. Jordan Richard Schoenherr (Canada)

Mark A. Sayre (United States)

Somaieh Nikpoor (Canada)

Alessio Tartaro (Italy)

Juliet Murga, Security NextGen (United States)

Nicholas Kisundu (Kenya)

Marian Ela Ebillo (Philippines)

Roberto López-Dávila (Puerto Rico)

Marine Lipartia (Georgia)

Unyime Akpabio (United Kingdom)

Naciye Busra Memisoglu, Queen Mary University of London (Turkey)

Merve Hickok, CAIDP (United States)

Marc Rotenberg, CAIDP (United States)

Selim Alan (Turkey)

Ashkan Alinaghian (Iran)

Parisa Osivand (Iran)

Rebecca Leeper (United States)

Jethro Limjoco (Phillipines)

Omolola Oviroh (South Africa)

Mercy Chinazom Godwin (Nigeria)

Dr. Mokesioluwa Fanoro (South Africa)

Gian-Maria Daffré (Switzerland)

Dr. Grace S. Thomson (UAE)

Prof. Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem, University of Pretoria & Center for AI Research (South Africa)

Dr. Andreas Geppert (Switzerland)

Gian-Maria Daffré (Switzerland)

Dr. Asli Telli (Germany)

Ella Jakubowska (Belgium)

Dumitru Roman (Moldova)

Tomas Aldaya (Argentina)

Ayesha Y Dawood (South Africa)


[Initial signatories. More names to be added]


Endorsements - Organizations

African Center for AI and Digital Technology (Mauritanie)

AI and Digital Ethics Lab, André-Laurendeau College (Canda)

Amnesty International (global)

Center for AI and Digital Policy (global)

Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz e.V. (DVD) (Germany)

Digitalcourage (Germany)

Digitale Gesellschaft (Switzerland)

Electronic Frontier Finland (Finland)

Elektronisk Forpost Norge (Norway)

European Digital Rights (Europe)

Homo Digitalis (Greece)

 Iuridicum Remedium (Czech Republic)


[Initial signatories. More names to be added]

"We also noted this year the growing conflict over the deployment of facial recognition for mass surveillance. While the European Parliament voted to ban the use of AI technology for this purpose, many governments and private companies pushed forward new systems for surveillance in residential communities, inside school classrooms, and at public parks. These are not the CCTV cameras of old, but sophisticated image processing systems, designed specifically to identify individuals in public spaces by name. In some countries, this system of unique identification is then tied to elaborate government databases for scoring people based on their allegiance to the government in power. It is a form of social control beyond the imagination of even George Orwell.


"We recommend that countries halt the use of facial recognition for mass surveillance."


- AI and Democratic Values (CAIDP 2022)


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