ADC conducts training on surveillance technologies at meeting with people from Public Defender’s Offices
The Association for Civil Rights (ADC) took part in the 6th meeting of the Mesa de Defensorías del Pueblo de Argentina (Board of Public Defender’s Offices of Argentina) and provided training on surveillance technologies, human rights, and tech companies to its participants. We especially focused on the use of facial recognition, the way it functions, and the rights it may be violating.
The meeting was held in virtual mode on Monday, August 8, and was attended by more than 60 people, representing Public Defender’s Offices from all over the country, as well as members of the general public interested in the subject. Marianela Milanes and Eduardo Ferreyra, both ADC project leaders and experts in technology and human rights, were in charge of the training.
After an introduction explaining how the concern about surveillance systems and their effects on individual fundamental rights emerged, a hypothetical case was presented to demonstrate the rights at risk when there is discretionary use of facial recognition. “In our country, there are no adequate security measures to protect Argentinians’ data,” said Ferreyra. In turn, Milanes pointed out that “the business and human rights agenda is cross-cutting and in this sense, civil society organizations are fundamental.”
The event also allowed time for participants to ask questions and make comments, so as to clarify doubts and reflect more deeply on the topic. Particular emphasis was made on the importance of debunking the technological neutrality myth, considering instead that technology has a social role with consequences that affect certain groups more than others.
To close the meeting, Celina Muguruza, attorney at the Public Defender’s Office of Santa Fe and former head of Private Security in that province, stressed that governments should start to address the issue, “drawing on all the contributions that can be provided.”
In this respect, ADC has published the document titled Surveillance Technologies in Argentina, which presents the findings of the study we carried out together with Access Now, and is an update of the state of affairs in the light of newly developed surveillance techniques. In addition, it provides recommendations for the future regulation of agreements between the public and private sectors, aligned with international principles on business and human rights.