EDRi-gram, 14 July 2021

Whilst EU laws say that each of us is innocent until proven guilty, the prevalence of biometric mass surveillance practices across Europe flips this on its head. Each of us is treated as suspicious until ‘proven’ innocent, by often discriminatory and persecutory deployments of systems that never should have been rolled out in the first place.

By EDRi · July 14, 2021

Recommended for the summer


The Rise and Rise of Biometric Mass Surveillance in the EU

European Digital Rights

The report shows that in Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland, biometric systems are increasingly being required for accessing public services, travel, shopping and other everyday activities. As a result, people are being given the false ‘choice’ to either submit their sensitive data, or be excluded from society. 

Check out the evidence here.

YouTube Regrets

Mozilla Foundation

In 2019, Mozilla collected countless stories from people whose lives were impacted by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. People had been exposed to misinformation, developed unhealthy body images, and became trapped in bizarre rabbit holes. The more stories were read, the more it was realized how central YouTube has become to the lives of so many people — and just how much YouTube recommendations can impact their wellbeing.

Explore the findings here.


We know what you did during lockdown.

James Graham, FT Film

We gave up our privacy to fight Covid-19, can we get it back? An FT film starring Lydia West and Arthur Darvill in collaboration with Sonia Friedman Productions and supported by Luminate. An interrogation scene explores how Covid-19 has exposed the tension between the need for data to track and trace, and the right to privacy and justice.

Watch here to see if we can get our privacy back.


Reclaim Your Face

The #PaperBagSociety is a social media challenge part of the #ReclaimYourFace campaign that invites everyone to share online the impact of living life with a paperbag on the head. With it, we aim to raise awareness of how ridiculous is to avoid facial recognition technologies in public spaces and why we need to build an alternative future, free from biometric mass surveillance.

See how a week in the #PaperBagSociety goes like here.


Biometric Surveillance

EDRi member, Citizen D

How to understand biometric surveillance technologies in the information society and how to establish relationships between privacy, security and technological progress? Where should the dividing line run and how should we discuss these challenges in the areas of regulation, industry and academia?

Listen here to learn more.


EDRi member, Access Now

RightsCon offers a platform for thousands of participants around the world to convene, connect, and contribute to a shared agenda for the future. This year a global community of business leaders, activists, technologists, policymakers, journalists, philanthropists, researchers, and artists explored opportunities to advance human rights in the digital age.

Listen to the recorded sessions here.


Keep your private life a secret!


How to safely surf online, recognise sponsored advertising, spot false information or phishing messages? How to manage your privacy settings on Facebook or Instagram, use strong passwords, react to account breaches or hacks? How to behave in case of inappropriate, mocking or even threatening messages on social networks, and if you are a victim of cyber-bullying? Test your knowledge about the protection of your personal data online!

Click here to start the quiz.

Defend yourself against surveillance

EDRi member, Privacy International

People should be able to attend peaceful protests without the police using sophisticated surveillance tools to monitor, track and identify protestors indiscriminately. Unfortunately, police forces do increasingly use a wide range of surveillance capabilities at protests, like facial recognition tecnology, IMSI catchers and mobile phone data extraction tools. It means that by attending a protest, the police can potentially identify you, track you and monitor you.

Click here to learn how to protect yourself now.