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SPC Issues New Rules for Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Fri, 27 Aug 2021
Categories: China Legal Trends

China’s Supreme People's Court (SPC) released on 28 July 2021 the “Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Trial of Civil Cases Involving the Use of Facial Recognition Technologies to Process Personal Information” (“the Provisions”, 关于审理使用人脸识别技术处理个人信息相关民事案件适用法律若干问题的规定). The Provisions consists of 16 articles covering the scope of application, tort liabilities, and contractual rules, etc.

Article 1 of the Provisions stipulates the scope of application. Firstly, the Provisions applies to relevant civil disputes between individuals or entities of equal status arising from the use of facial recognition technologies for processing facial information. Secondly, the Provisions is also applicable to the processing of facial information by information processors using facial recognition technologies, or to the processing of facial information generated by facial recognition technologies though without the use of such technologies.

Furthermore, the Provisions makes it clear where the processing of facial information is based on individual’s consent, the separate consent of the natural person or of the natural person’s guardian shall be obtained; and that for violation of such separate consent, forcing or forcing in a disguised manner a natural person to agree on processing his/her facial information, such behavior constitutes an act infringing the personality rights and interests of the natural person.

In addition, pursuant to the Provisions, where property management service enterprise or other building managers use facial recognition technology as the only method to verify the identity of property owners or users for accessing the property service area, the court will uphold the claim that reasonable alternative verification methods shall be provided as requested by the dissenting property owners or property users.



Cover Photo by Jida Li ( on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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