Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (165)

Micheál Martin

Question:

165. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to an article regarding surveillance (details supplied); his views on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27741/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I have been made aware of the article in question regarding surveillance technology being supplied to assist with the development of facial recognition software in Serbia. The internal security of any State is a national competence. Ireland considers it important that in safeguarding internal security, States take account of fundamental rights. In this instance, the merits of facial recognition technologies must be weighed against the cost to privacy and freedom.

While evolutions in technology bring with it innumerable benefits in advancing our societies, the development of such technologies should work for, rather than against citizens, with full respect for international law and human rights. The use of any technology that collects biometric or personal data, whether used for security purposes or otherwise, should be preceded by a full data protection risk assessment.

Serbia is a candidate to join the EU. Becoming a member of the Union entails fully adopting the acquis , including in the areas of justice, freedom and security. Candidate countries’ use of such technology should align with European standards.