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IP lawyer warns public won’t wear spy tech as virus threat fades

15 May 2020 / technology Print

IP lawyer warns public won’t wear spy tech as virus threat fades

Law firm DLA Piper says businesses considering contact tracing apps and facial recognition technology (FRT) face risks which must be carefully managed.

Facial identification technology has been mooted for use in the transition to a ‘new normal’ of workplace attendance in adherence to COVID-19 public health guidelines.


However, Mark Rasdale, intellectual property and technology partner at DLA Piper Ireland, warns that the public may not accept the use of FRT, post-lockdown.

“What is necessary and acceptable to users now, may not necessarily be the case as we return to normality,” he cautions.


Rasdale points to significantly varied approaches to FRT adoption and regulation worldwide.

While FRT is commonplace in China, some US states have introduced legislation that severely restricts its use. In the EU, meanwhile, the rules governing its use are complex and are not necessarily uniform from country to country.


Rasdale believes firms should take an international perspective on facial recognition technology. He advises tapping into the experience of countries at a more advanced stage in the journey back to post-lockdown life.

“Companies should invest in technology solutions to support the transition back to work, but apply an appropriate risk management and compliance plan, as part of any technology roll-out,” Rasdale cautions.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland