European privacy watchdogs have termed for a ban on the use of facial recognition in public spaces, pointing to the “very superior” pitfalls to privacy.
The joint recommendation, which comes from the European Data Defense Board (EDPB) and the European Data Security Supervisor (EDPS), also urged the bloc to prohibit the use of synthetic intelligence (AI) to “infer emotions” or for “any style of social scoring”.
The suggestion arrives in response to proposals from the European Commission (EC) on the harmonisation of artificial intelligence rules, which areas restrictions on the use of live facial recognition in general public destinations by regulation enforcement, but does not outright ban it.
The EDPB and EDPS claim the bill doesn’t go considerably enough and are contacting for a general ban on any use of AI for automated recognition of human options in publicly available spaces, “this kind of as recognition of faces, gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes and other biometric or behavioural indicators, in any context.”
The watchdogs, which are responsible for ensuring EU institutions adhere to the EU’s details security policies, also claim it should be unlawful for AI methods to use biometrics to categorise folks “into clusters based on ethnicity, gender, political or sexual orientation,” or other kinds of classification beneath which they could be discriminated in opposition to.
These types of practices “interfere with elementary legal rights and freedoms to such an extent that they may possibly contact into concern the essence of these rights and freedoms,” the heads of the EDPB and EDPS claimed in a statement.
“Deploying distant biometric identification in publicly obtainable areas means the conclude of anonymity in those people places,” they continued.
“This phone calls for an immediate software of the precautionary technique. A basic ban on the use of facial recognition in publicly available regions is the vital commencing position if we want to maintain our freedoms and create a human-centric lawful framework for AI. The proposed regulation should also prohibit any variety of use of AI for social scoring, as it is from the EU essential values and can guide to discrimination.”
Though quite a few have welcomed the EC’s AI restrictions as a move in the correct way that sets Europe on a unique route to the US and China, privacy campaigners, this sort of as the European Digital Legal rights (EDRi) advocacy network, have also warned that the procedures go away the door open up for discriminatory surveillance.
“Modern opinion is apparent proof, from the EU’s prime details security regulators, that facial recognition in publicly obtainable areas is a grave and disproportionate intrusion into people’s rights and freedoms,” EDRi policy adviser Ella Jakubowska claimed.
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