Personal data — Public law
Bill 1087 on the use of remote biometric identification to safeguard national security
Bill 1087 on the use of video surveillance and video surveillance of places accessible to the public for the detection, search and identification of persons wanted or reported by means of remote biometric identification systems (2023-11, 17 November 2023) was received by the Parliament on 19 December 2023.
The Explanatory Memorandum to Bill no. 1087 (p. 7) notes that "The proposed Monegasque legislation is intended to be a pioneer in this field, because for the time being, the legislative projects under consideration in European countries and at European Union level have not yet resulted in harmonised rules specific to the processing of data relating to the remote biometric identification of persons wanted in places accessible to the public".
The Government refers to the European Commission's proposal for harmonised rules on artificial intelligence ("AI Act") on which the Council Presidency and European Parliament negotiators reached a provisional agreement on 9 December 2023. This provides for the possibility for law enforcement authorities to use remote biometric identification "in real time" in publicly accessible areas, on an exceptional basis (cases of victims of certain offences; prevention of real, current or foreseeable threats such as terrorist attacks; search for persons suspected of the most serious crimes).
The system planned in Monaco "will de facto limit the use of remote biometric identification technologies in areas accessible to the public to the sole imperative purpose of preserving national security" governed by Law no. 1.430 of 13 July 2016 containing various measures relating to the preservation of national security.
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Bill No. 1087:
- amends Law no. 1430 of 13 July 2016 on various measures relating to the preservation of national security.
- aims to establish a clear, precise and specific legal basis for the conditions of use of remote identification technologies in places accessible to the public for purposes relating to the preservation of public security: "a legal framework that is as protective of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individuals concerned as it is effective for their implementation by the authorised officers of the Public Safety Department ("Direction de la Sûreté Publique") assigned to the use of images from video protection systems": automation of certain tasks, to find wanted persons on an alert list (Explanatory Memorandum, p. 7).
- provides the following specific guarantees in terms of public freedoms and fundamental rights:
- The principle of prohibiting the automated processing of images from video-protection systems and video-surveillance systems installed in places open to the public or filming the approaches to public thoroughfares, areas open to the public or to public traffic by means of remote biometric identification systems for the purpose of searching for or identifying natural persons;
- The police will be authorised to use remote biometric identification only for compelling public security purposes, in order to facilitate the identification of persons wanted for serious reasons. Persons wanted or reported under : — decisions, warrants or instructions issued by a judicial authority concerning an offence punishable by 1 year's imprisonment or more; — searches carried out for the purposes of a preliminary investigation, a flagrante delicto investigation or a judicial enquiry concerning an offence punishable by 1 year's imprisonment or more; — investigations carried out as part of a search for the cause of death, missing persons, worrying disappearances or runaways of minors; — the pursuit of intelligence gathering purposes relating to 1° the prevention of terrorism, organised crime and delinquency and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, 2° the defence of the Principality's strategic foreign policy interests, compliance with its international commitments and the prevention of any form of foreign interference, 3° the safeguarding of the Principality's fundamental interests ; — the security of sporting, cultural or recreational events where there is a risk of serious harm to the safety of persons or property; — measures of refoulement, expulsion or compulsory placement);
- Legal retention period for biometric data: 30 days in principle;
- The principle of prohibiting consultation of data that has not been positively matched, unless justified for the purposes of : 1°) a preliminary enquiry, an investigation in flagrante delicto or a judicial enquiry concerning an offence punishable by 1 year's imprisonment or more; 2°) enquiries carried out as part of investigations into the causes of death, missing persons, worrying disappearances or runaways of minors; 3°) the pursuit of the purposes of intelligence gathering (described above); 4°) international judicial cooperation; 5°) the prevention of serious offences against the safety of property and individuals;
- Systematic check by an authorised official of positive matches by the remote biometric identification system with the data of people on an alert list. Right not to be subject to a decision significantly affecting him or her, taken solely on the basis of automated data processing.
- Prohibition on the interconnection of this processing with any other personal data processing carried out by the Public Safety Department.
- is "in parallel" with Bill no. 1054 on the protection of personal data, which is intended to replace Law no. 1.165 of 23 December 1993 (ordinary personal data protection law).
- The processing of data relating to images from video-protection and video-surveillance systems in areas accessible to the public would be subject not only to the specific safeguards for the protection of the fundamental rights of the data subjects set out in bill no. 1087 (described above), but also to the safeguards set out in ordinary personal data protection law.
- Supervision of the implementation of this processing by the Public Safety Department would fall within the remit of the Personal Data Protection Authority (APDP) for ordinary law.
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