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AssociaĆ§Ć£o D3 warns of the risks of proposals for video surveillance with PSP AI

At the beginning of 2020, the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) failed two requests for authorization from the Public Security Police (PSP) to install in Portimo and Leiria video surveillance systems with AI that allowed people to be searched for by physical characteristics or by sex. At a time when the PSP intends to insist on the implementation of the technology, Associação D3 comes to warn of the risks of the authorities' proposal.

The association clarifies that in addition to the negative opinions issued by CNPD in relation to the installation of video surveillance systems with AI in Portimo and Leiria, the entity also spoke out against the implementation of the technology in Olho and Estremoz.

CNPD states that all the systems required by the PSP imply a systematic control on a large scale, with "an undeniable high risk for the rights, freedoms and guarantees of the people. At issue are the rights to data protection, respect for private life, freedom of action and non-discrimination.

D3 decided to analyze the PSP's proposals in light of the principle of proportionality, which can be used to constitutionally justify the application of technology. The principle indicates that the restrictions applied must be suitable for the intended purpose, totally indispensable and proportionate. The association found that the PSP's rationale is simply disastrous.

The association cites, for example, the case of Estremoz where the PSP proposes the video surveillance system in a context in which crime against people and property has decreased significantly in the last year. D3 shows that the District Command of the PSP now uses as an argument the idea that citizens have been relying more and more on technology, with an effective availability of people to abdicate, as necessary and in proportional terms, of their privacy due to the placement of video surveillance systems ".

D3 says that there is an urgent need to launch in Portugal the debate about the use of video surveillance systems with AI so that it can be decided, in an informed way, if these should be implemented. Freedom and privacy are human rights, as is security, so the discussion should always be framed in the fundamental rights regime in force, without concessions to hyper-security views, declares the association.

In addition to supporting the position taken by the CNPD, D3 declares that the PSP's proposal is unconstitutional, stating that the authorities make a clear cut of the legal and constitutional framework of this issue. The episodes make it evident that the PSP is not able to deal with these issues, the association indicates. In this situation, the Ministry of Internal Administration, which admits such requests, is not exempt from liability.