D66 and CDA want a temporary stop to facial recognition

D66 and the CDA want a stop to the use of facial recognition for the time being. The ruling parties want more debate and clearer facial recognition frameworks to be drawn up first.

This is stated, among other things, in a digital pamphlet that D66 has published. The party wants a ‘social debate’ about new technologies in government. MP Kees Verhoeven tells the NOS that the government should now ‘think about the limits we want to set’. In the pamphlet he argues for a ban on facial recognition software by, for example, the police, until that debate has been conducted. Facial recognition has been used more often in investigative services in recent years. On Monday, for example, it was announced that the police used facial recognition 961 times in 2018. The police database now contains 1.3 million people.

It is not only D66 that is critical of such developments. The CDA also wants to introduce more rules to regulate facial recognition. Member of parliament Chris van Dam tells de Volkskrant that ‘facial recognition is the next step in intrusiveness’ in which people ‘are seen as a collection of data’.

Verhoeven also argues again that not only facial recognition, but also the use of algorithms should be tackled. He points to an earlier investigation by the NOS. This showed that more and more governments are using their own forms of algorithms to detect fraud, for example. In many cases this can lead to discrimination. At the time, D66 already argued for the establishment of an ‘algorithm watchdog’ and a guideline for the use of such algorithms. Linking different data files in particular is bothering the party. This happens, for example, with the controversial anti-fraud project SyRI.

The CDA was previously one of the parties that criticized the use of algorithms. In addition to the CDA and D66, opposition parties such as the SP and GroenLinks have long been critical of such developments. D66 wants to present an initiative to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.