Hardly surprising news. Concerns have been mounting worldwide over how such tech infringes on privacy, and its potential misuse in an increasingly surveilled society. If Europe goes ahead with a ban, it will follow US cities like San Francisco and Somerville that have already outlawed government use of facial recognition.
The tech is developing at such breakneck pace, so calling a temporary halt to its use is really not a bad idea. But let's see how much a five-year hiatus will help. At least Europe can draw on lessons learnt from test runs: aka the new bills coming in Stateside this year. But it could also be left behind as the rest of the world moves forward.