Europe Says NO to Remote Biometric Identification

surveillance camera

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AI-powered remote surveillance technologies such as facial recognition have major implications for fundamental rights and freedoms like privacy. As a result, the biometric identification of people in public space from a distance, for example through video surveillance with automated face recognition and other biometric procedures, should not be allowed to prosecutors in the EU.

The European Parliament has voted to back a ban on police use of facial recognition technology in public places, and on predictive policing, a controversial practice awarding points to citizens on the basis of AI by means of “social scoring” and 

profiling potential criminals before a crime is even committed.

To respect “privacy and human dignity”, members of the European Parliament said that EU lawmakers should pass a permanent ban on the automated recognition of individuals in public spaces, saying citizens should only be monitored when suspected of a crime.

The parliament has also called for a ban on the use of private facial recognition databases — such as the controversial AI system created by U.S. startup Clearview (also already in use by some police forces in Europe) — and said predictive policing based on behavioral data should also be outlawed.

The politicians cited concerns over algorithmic bias in AI and argued that both human supervision and legal protections are required to avoid discrimination. They noted there’s evidence suggesting AI-based identification systems misidentify minority ethnic groups, LGBTI+ people, seniors, and women at higher rates. As a result, the MEPs say, “algorithms should be transparent, traceable and sufficiently documented,” with open-source options being used wherever possible, according to