New Police Surveillance Technologies: Combatting the Science Fiction Collectively – A Civil Society Perspective


  • Chloé Berthélémy


  • Chris Jones
  • Amba Kak
  • Alyna Smith
  • Petra Molnar

Organisation: EDRI

Room: Online 1

Timing: 17:25 - 18:45 on 27 January 2021

From tracking protesters to “controlling” migration, law enforcement authorities across the world increasingly employ sophisticated technologies to do their work. Experiments with data and algorithms purportedly aim to predict crime and assist the criminal justice decision-making system. While facial recognition technologies have attracted public attention and resistance, it is only the tip of the surveillance iceberg. The assumption is that these systems are beneficial because crime fighting becomes more efficient. This quest for efficiency and innovation fuels the never-ending expansion of police databases as supporting infrastructures for those data-hungry technologies. However, despite being pictured as benign tools, impacts on people’s lives, rights and freedoms is unprecedented, especially for those who already suffer from hyper-surveillance and over-policing like marginalised communities. This panel gathers representatives from civil society to analyse the intersection of the deployment of new technologies, intensified surveillance and social justice with the intention of elaborating paths of action.

• What does the deployment of new surveillance and policing technologies look like in Europe? What is the role of the EU in these developments?
• How does the use of new technologies interconnect with the ever-growing collection of personal data and the criminalisation of certain communities?
• How does theses systems pose a danger to people’s rights and freedoms, esp. of marginalised communities?
• How can we encourage civil society, activists and relevant institutions to adopt a comprehensive approach to these issues and work at their intersection?


Chloé Berthélémy


Chloé Berthélémy is Policy Advisor at European Digital Rights (EDRi), the voice of 44 member organisations in Europe defending human rights in the digital environment. She leads EDRi's policy work on law enforcement and fundamental rights issues. She also has expertise related to online freedom of expression and content moderation in the context of the debate on terrorist content online, disinformation and platform regulation. Before joining EDRi, she advocated for youth rights at the European level. She holds a Double Master on European Affairs from Sciences Po Lille and Aston University.


Chris Jones

Statewatch (UK)

Chris is Executive Director of Statewatch, a civil liberties charity working on policing, migration, surveillance and security technologies, in particular in relation to European Union law and policy.

Amba Kak

AI Now (US)

Amba is the Director of Global Strategy & Programs at AI Now Institute at New York University, where she leads AI Now’s global policy engagement, programs, and partnerships. She joins AI Now from her role as Policy Advisor at Mozilla, where she led the organization’s work in India and contributed to global policy fora on issues such as data protection, surveillance, and net-neutrality. Amba has been a recipient of the Mozilla Tech Policy Fellowship in 2016 and the Google Policy Fellowship in 2013. As a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, she has received a Masters in Law (BCL) and an MSc in Social Science of the Internet.

Alyna Smith


Alyna is Advocacy Officer at PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) where she leads their work on access to justice and access to health for undocumented people, as well as legal strategies. Alyna has a background in health, human rights and law.

Petra Molnar

York University Toronto (CA)

Petra Molnar is a lawyer and researcher at the Migration and Technology Monitor and the Refugee Law Lab, investigating the human rights impacts of migration management technologies.