An EU taskforce will examine the practices of Chinese video app TikTok, and sent a strong warning with regard to the use of Clearview AI by law enforcement authorities.

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, allows users to create short videos, and its popularity has increased during the COVID-19 crisis.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said that it has already issued guidelines and recommendations that should be taken into account by all data controllers whose processing is subject to the GDPR, especially when it comes to the transfer of personal data to third countries.

It also outlined substantive and procedural conditions for access to personal data by public authorities or the application of the GDPR territorial scope, in particular when it comes to the processing of minors’ data.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

The EDPB shared its concerns regarding recent developments in facial recognition technologies. The EDPB recalled that under the Law Enforcement Directive, law enforcement authorities may process biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person only in accordance with the strict conditions of Articles 8 and 10 of the Directive.

The expressed doubts as to whether any Union or Member State law provides a legal basis for using a service such as the one offered by Clearview AI. According to the watchdog, the lawfulness of such use by EU law enforcement authorities cannot be ascertained.

According to the EDPB, the use of a service such as Clearview AI by law enforcement authorities in the European Union would, as it stands, likely not be consistent with the EU data protection regime.

The EDPB refered to its guidelines on the processing of personal data through video devices and announced upcoming work on the use of facial recognition technology by law  enforcement authorities.