The Interior Ministry told civil society organizations that face-recording and recognition software is not used and “we are left to take their word for it,” said Ana Toskic, executive director of Partner for Democratic Change in Serbia.
“The possibility of carrying out some additional supervision to determine that this system is not being used was also mentioned,” Toskic said on N1 television’s Studio Live program, after a meeting between representatives of civil society and the Interior Ministry.
Speaking of the fact that the cameras of the Chinese Huawei have already been installed in Belgrade, and that the law that should regulate that is only now being passed, Toskic says that the problem is that we have a part of the infrastructure that could have the potential to make recordings to through automatic facial recognition ”.
“The withdrawal of the cameras is one of our demands, we are absolutely against biometric surveillance and it will be the subject of conversations, I hope, in the coming months,” he said.
The internal affairs bill was withdrawn after strong criticism from civil society, and the two main objections concerned the planned introduction of mass biometric video surveillance and the ban on publishing the identities of police officers.
When asked about today’s meeting with representatives of the Interior Ministry, which was held on the occasion of this law, Toskic said that he believes that this will be the beginning of work on a new document.
As good news, he affirms that it will be discussed whether a biometric video surveillance system is necessary, that is, that the discussion about it “will start from the beginning.”
Toskic says that it was proposed at the meeting that the National Convention of the European Union be the place where the discussion on this issue will take place.
“This is not an issue that refers only to Chapter 24 (in negotiations with the EU), but also to Chapter 23, which, among other things, deals with human rights. Therefore, a broader circle of organizations must be included, ”he said, adding that both the academic community and professional organizations should declare themselves.
When asked when the next meeting with representatives of the Interior Ministry will be, he said that the continuation of the work is scheduled for mid-October through thematic meetings.
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