Buenos Aires uses live facial recognition to identify child criminals

Occurred: October 2020

Buenos Aires authorities were accused by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of using live facial recognition to identify children accused of committing crimes, thereby violating a United Nations agreement that protects children’s privacy in legal proceedings.

According to HRW, the details of 'at least 166' children accused of committing crimes were stored on Argentina's CONARC, the country's national database of inviduals with outstanding arrest warrants for serious crimes, between May 2017 and May 2020. 

HRW contended the City of Buenos Aires' live facial recognition system is likely to amplify the risks of wrong identification of children due to the known inaccuracies of such systems when used on children, and to potentially unjustly limit their job and educational opportunities. 

Argentina is thjought to be the only country in the world to deploy live facial recognition against people under the age of 18. 

Operator: Government of the City of Buenos Aires; Buenos Aires City Police; Argentine Ministry of Justice and Security; ReNaPer
Developer: Danaide/NtechLab

Country: Argentina

Sector: Govt - municipal; Govt - police; Govt - security

Purpose: Identify criminals

Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Accuracy/reliability, Bias/discrimination, Human/civil rights, Surveillance

Transparency: Governance; Privacy