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On May 11th, 2023, The European Parliament voted for amendments to be made to the AI Act, with those amendments including the ban of predictive policing and criminal prediction systems across the European nations.
“Today, European Parliament voted to finalize the text of the EU AI Act, a flagship legislative proposal to regulate AI based on its potential to cause harm,” said Fair Trials, which has campaigned for the measure along with around 50 other organizations including Amnesty Tech and Human Rights Watch since the law was first tabled in 2021.
Fair Trials is a global criminal justice watchdog, campaigning for fairness, equality and justice across nations in Europe, Latin America, the UK, US and more, according to the official Fair Trials website.
Griff Ferris, senior legal and policy officer at Fair Trials, has described AI-driven law enforcement as “racist, authoritarian, and incredibly oppressive,” arguing it would exacerbate already severe problems with a policing culture that excessively targets ethnic minorities.
“The use of these systems by law enforcement and criminal justice authorities has been proven to reproduce and reinforce existing discrimination, and already results in Black people, Roma and other minoritized ethnic people being disproportionately stopped and searched, arrested, detained, and imprisoned across Europe,” said Fair Trials.
This ban is the first of its kind in the EU and will ban all use of AI systems that assess the risk of citizens committing criminal felonies or reoffending and predicts the occurrence of reoccurrence of potential crime.
Although some cities and municipalities in the US have imposed similar restrictions already, Fair Trials states that the EU move constitutes the world’s first major ban on such technology, as reported on by Cyber News.