EU committees want to ban automated facial recognition
The EU is currently intensively dealing with artificial intelligence and its consequences for public life. In this context, two EU committees dealing with this issue have now presented a legislative proposal that, among other things, provides for a ban on the use of automated facial recognition in public spaces without exception.
Fight between EU and member states imminent
This push, which aims to protect the privacy and self-determination rights of private individuals vis-à-vis the state, comes as a surprise, as previous developments in this area have pointed in the opposite direction. For example, EU member states and the EU Commission are calling for far-reaching rights for AI surveillance in public spaces. Germany has also already had a pilot project to this effect. France is planning a huge expansion of the use of appropriate technology ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris – which will almost certainly not be scaled back after the sporting event.
The EU committees dealing with AI issues now want to put a stop to all this and enforce the freedom interests of private individuals over the security interests of states. The negotiators Brando Benifei and Dragoș Tudorache expressed their conviction that they would ultimately be able to convince the member states of the ban. In this context, Benifei warned against a “security nightmare.” A weakening of fundamental rights is unacceptable, he said.
EU Parliament must vote on proposal
Whether the proposal now put forward will ultimately actually come into force, however, is so far completely unpredictable. In addition to the approval of the member states, which is uncertain, that of the EU Parliament is first required. This is more likely, as the proposal has already incorporated around 3,000 amendments requested by EU parliamentarians. The vote in the EU Parliament is scheduled for next month.
In addition to the ban on the use of automatic facial recognition and other identification programs in public spaces, the proposed legislation contains numerous other regulations intended to regulate the use of artificial intelligence. For example, it provides that providers of AI chatbots or image generators must “document and make publicly available a sufficiently detailed summary of the use of copyrighted training data.” They must also ensure that generated content does not violate EU law.
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