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China: Supreme People’s Court establishes Judicial Rules for Disputes Concerning Facial Recognition

The Supreme People’s Court recently released the Provisions on Several Issues of the Application of Law in Trial of Civil Cases Involving Processing Personal Information by Using Facial Recognition Technology (“Provisions”). The Provisions clarify judicial rules for the usage of facial recognition technology, especially in the scenarios where property owners conduct access control and management, business activities are carried out in public places such as shopping mall, and individuals use different applications on mobile phones. It is stressed in the Provisions that, where the processing of facial information is based on individual’s consent, the separate consent from the individual or his/her guardian must be obtained. If the individual’s consent to process facial information is obtained by force or disguised force, the processing of the individual’s facial information will amount to an infringement upon the personality right of the individual. The Provisions also set forth that, personal information processor will not bear civil lability, if the processing of facial information is necessary for preserving public security, responding to emergency situation, or serving public interests within the reasonable scope.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel 

Facial recognition technology is being applied to more and more aspects of people’s daily lives. With respect to employment administration, certain employers in China have used facial recognition technology, mainly in attendance management and office access. These employers are advised to strictly follow the Provisions and other laws and regulations relating to the protection of personal information.