Regulating Facial Recognition in Brazil

By Luca Belli , Walter Britto Gaspar and Nicolo Zingales.

This article is a chapter of The Cambridge Handbook of Facial Recognition in the Modern State.


Almost forty Brazilian cities have begun to deploy facial recognition technology (FRT) in a bid to automate the public safety, transportation, and border control sectors. Such initiatives are frequently introduced in the context of ‘Smart City’ programmes, which exist in a sort of legislative vacuum. Despite the numerous bills recently discussed in the Brazilian Parliament, there is still no legislation that addresses artificial intelligence in general or FRT use specifically. Only minimal and incomplete guidance can be found in general frameworks and sectoral legislation, such as the Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD), the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, the Civil Code, and even the Federal Constitution. This chapter provides an overview of the current status of FRT regulation in Brazil, highlighting the existing deficiencies and risks. It discusses whether LGPD rules allowing the use of FRT for public safety, national defence, state security, investigative activities, and the repression of criminal activities are reasonable and justified.