“The new laws include restrictions on how police can use facial recognition technology, with a prohibition on its use in real-time surveillance, with exceptions for investigations involving serious crimes.”
The European Union is moving toward a large set of regulations concerning artificial intelligence technologies including facial recognition, with the European Commission announcing draft legislation this week.
The new laws include restrictions on how police can use facial recognition technology, with a prohibition on its use in real-time surveillance, with exceptions for investigations involving serious crimes. The draft proposal also compels companies to inform consumers when they are using AI systems to detect demographic information or to attempt to discern their emotions. The use of AI to target specific, vulnerable groups would be banned.
Companies that violate the new regulations would face fines of up to six percent of their revenues or €30 million, whichever is higher.
Other aspects of the proposed legislation include a prohibition on AI technologies that are used for social scoring, or the exploitation of children. There is also a regulation concerning AI technologies that “materially distort” people’s behaviors, which could have applications in the areas or marketing and retail.
The legislation emerges amid growing concern about the use of sophisticated AI systems, and especially the police use of facial recognition in particular. Privacy and civil rights advocates have helped to prompt the implementation of various state and local restrictions of the technology in the U.S. and elsewhere.
That having been said, the European Commission’s proposed legislation must now work its way through the EU Parliament and EU Council, and could face substantial revisions before it becomes law, in a process that could take well over a year.
April 22, 2021 – by Alex Perala