Justice for an activist: the ECtHR recognized the illegality of the use of facial recognition in Moscow
The Muscovite tested the consequences of the use of cameras in the subway.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favor of Muscovite Nikolai Glukhin, finding his right to privacy and freedom of expression violated due to the use of the Moscow facial recognition system. Information about this was published on the official website of the court.
Recall that on August 23, 2019, Glukhin went to the metro, holding a cardboard figure of Konstantin Kotov, an activist sentenced to four years under the so-called “Dadin article” (Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
The figure was holding a poster with a provocative inscription. A week after this event, employees of the Center “E” tried to find Glukhin at home using photos from Telegram channels, but the activist was not at home. On the same day, he was detained at the exit of the subway.
Glukhin was issued a protocol on violation of the rules for holding a rally. The police claimed that the activist was identified using a facial recognition system installed on surveillance cameras. In September 2019, the Meshchansky District Court fined Glukhin 20,000 rubles. The decision of the court was appealed, but remained in force.
The ECtHR stressed in its decision that the use of a real-time facial recognition system to search for Glukhin violated his right to privacy and freedom of expression, guaranteed by Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The court also concluded that the actions of law enforcement agencies did not correspond to a “pressing public need”. As a result, Glukhin was awarded 16.2 thousand euros in compensation.