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The EU wants strict controls on facial recognition

The EU wants strict controls on facial recognition

Yep, that’s a face alright. DESPITE HAVING SERIOUS problems with bias, raising enormous privacy concerns, and not actually being very reliable, businesses and services seem to be tripping over themselves to get on board the facial recognition train. The EU, it seems, plans to put some much needed brakes on this metaphorical choo-choo, and is

The EU wants strict controls on facial recognition

Yep, that’s a face alright.

DESPITE HAVING SERIOUS problems with bias, raising enormous privacy concerns, and not actually being very reliable, businesses and services seem to be tripping over themselves to get on board the facial recognition train.

The EU, it seems, plans to put some much needed brakes on this metaphorical choo-choo, and is planning to put strict limits on “the indiscriminate use of facial recognition technology” in order to protect European citizens. 

Documents seen by the Financial Times say the new legislation will “set a world-standard for AI regulations” with “clear, predictable and uniform rules… which adequately protect individuals.” 

So far, so vague, but you can’t fault the intent. “AI applications can pose significant risks to fundamental rights,” it continues. “Unregulated AI systems may take decisions affecting citizens without explanation, possibility of recourse or even a responsible interlocutor.”

Still, it doesn’t look like the laws will go as far as San Francisco, which has recently voted to ban all use of the technology. Here in the UK, we’re considerably less het up on little quaint little preoccupations like the perpetual surveillance and the fundamental right to privacy, as this development in north London proves.  

The new European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen has said she hopes to push through legislation in her first 100 days that will provide “a co-ordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of artificial intelligence,” which could include these signposted curbs on facial recognition technology, along with all kinds of other things.

Of course, von der Leyen isn’t set to take office until Friday November 1, which means she should take her seat a few hours after the UK has left the EU if you believe the promises of our new Prime Minister. And why wouldn’t you? µ

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