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Portugal: CNPD issues opinion on draft law regarding use of surveillance by security forces

The Portuguese data protection authority ('CNPD') announced, on 9 November 2021, that it had issued an opinion on the Draft Decree-Law No. 111/XIV/2 on the use of surveillance by security forces. In particular, the CNPD found that several provisions of the Draft Law are unconstitutional and that the fundamental right to respect for private life is likely to be affected by allowing mass surveillance in public and private spaces. Furthermore, the CNPD stated that the Draft Law broadens the regime currently in force, including numerous image collection means, such as drones, bodycams, and real-time video surveillance systems operated by private entities, that may be converted into biometric templates, without any guarantees for non-discrimination, and enable the monitoring of specific citizens through facial recognition.

In this regard, the CNPD further found that the Draft Law lacks, among other things:

  • justifications for the necessity of such surveillance uses are presented;
  • criteria set for the application and use of artificial intelligence technologies;
  • an independent entity for control of such practices; and
  • transparency regarding the use of portable cameras, especially those coupled with drones.

You can read the press release here and download the opinion here, both only available in Portuguese.