UNI Europa has joined over 40 organisations in launching the European Citizens’ Initiative to Reclaim Your Face.
The collection of people’s biometric data has dramatically increased over recent years. The implementation of facial recognition in workplaces and intrusive surveillance software on workers’ computers have too often been rolled out in opaque ways and for untransparent purposes. Workers themselves often don’t know what information is being gathered about them and what it is being used for. If consent is individualised, it becomes coercive in the context of a boss asking a subordinate.
Furthermore, the freedom of assembly which trade unionists rely on to hold both corporations and governments accountable is undermined when participants are systematically being watched. Amazon were recently found to be spying on workers who were participating in public demonstrations in Spain. This undermines people’s fundamental rights. The time has come to set clear boundaries.
The #ReclaimYourFace citizens’ initiative calls on the European Commission to strictly regulate the use of biometric technologies in order to avoid undue interference with fundamental rights. Once a European Citizens’ Initiative collects one million signatures of citizens of the European Union who are nationals of at least one quarter of the member states, it prompts the European Commission to propose a legal act in an area of EU competence.
See the #ReclaimYourFace campaign website for more information.