European Parliament speaks out against automated identification systems


The European Parliament is pushing to ban several types of AI systems that could have a negative impact on the public. The organization has expressed particular concerns about private facial recognition databases and public surveillance systems used by law enforcement.

In this spirit, Parliament has adopted a new resolution which calls for strong legal guarantees for the use of AI systems. Specifically, the resolution states that decision making should never be left entirely to an AI system and that a human operator should always be responsible for the final choice. The resolution then goes on to say that people should have access to some sort of restitution if they have been harmed.

According to the Parliament, such measures are necessary to prevent discrimination and minimize the impact of biased algorithms. This is especially true in law enforcement and border operations, where biased facial recognition algorithms can lead to false arrests and other negative outcomes for people from marginalized communities. Parliament also advocates for a fundamental right to privacy and opposes mass surveillance systems that track people’s movements.

In this regard, the resolution would severely limit the scope of the supervisory state. Parliament hopes to ban any company seeking to create its own private facial recognition database and end police use of automated facial recognition systems in public spaces. However, Parliament recognized that facial recognition can help in certain types of investigations and still allow police to use it to monitor a suspect.

The private ban would apply to companies like Clearview AI, which has a database of more than 3 billion images. Police, meanwhile, would not be allowed to use profiling algorithms that attempt to predict criminal behavior based on past observations, or to deploy social scoring systems that attempt to assign reliability ratings to individuals. people with different personality types.

Parliament adopted the resolution with a majority of 377 members, with 248 members against and 62 abstentions in the vote. The legislature has also spoken out against the use of remote identity verification tools, such as biometric electronic gates at international borders, and has encouraged the European Commission to take legal action against states that fail to comply. not the AI ​​regulations.

The European Commission has been considering a facial recognition ban for several years and released a draft new AI bill in April. Parliament has already declared that this project is not strict enough and has now doubled its position with this latest resolution. The European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor have also called for stricter regulations on facial recognition.

October 12, 2021 – by Eric Weiss


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