Artificial Intelligence and Public Surveillance: A Question of GDPR

Author: Dr. Cécile Zakine, Doctor of Law

Date:: 05/12/2024

In the current digital era, where artificial intelligence (AI) and video surveillance are an integral part of our daily lives, the question of the protection of personal data becomes essential, especially when it comes to filming in public spaces . As a doctor of law, I would like to approach this complex issue from the perspective of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR, a European regulation, imposes strict guidelines regarding the processing of personal data. These guidelines are particularly relevant in the context of the use of surveillance cameras by transportation companies or other public entities. Their goal ? Ensure safety and prevent incidents. However, these actions raise important legal questions related to individual privacy.

It is essential to recognize that capturing images in public spaces by surveillance cameras is not a trivial process. It requires a solid legal basis, justified by a legitimate interest, a mission of public interest, or the explicit consent of the people filmed. In the absence of these justifications, such practices may be considered illegal under the GDPR.

Technology, particularly AI, offers immense opportunities to improve the safety and efficiency of public transport. However, it must be deployed responsibly and in compliance with the current legal framework. This involves a rigorous assessment of risks and benefits, taking into account the rights and freedoms of individuals.

As legal professionals, we face a daunting challenge: balancing technological innovation with respect for the fundamental rights of citizens. It is imperative to ensure that any use of video surveillance in public spaces respects not only GDPR but also reasonable expectations of privacy.

Faced with this complexity, it is crucial not to draw hasty conclusions. Each situation is unique and requires in-depth legal analysis. For this reason, I strongly recommend that affected entities consult a lawyer specializing in data protection law for advice tailored to their specific case.

In conclusion, the integration of AI and video surveillance in public space must be approached with caution and responsibility. The GDPR provides a framework to protect the rights of individuals, but its proper application requires in-depth legal expertise. Consulting a specialist lawyer is therefore an essential step for any entity considering deploying such technologies.

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