The EU is considering the ban on the use of facial recognition software in public areas in order to regulate the technology and safeguard individual privacy.
The EU is considering a ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces to be extended up to five years. This temporary ban will be implemented in public areas like shopping centers, stadiums, stations, etc. questioning the way technology restricts the rights of individuals. Legal experts confirm that such a move by the EU is “radical” and highly unusual, exhibiting how invasive regulators believe facial recognition could be. A three to five-year prohibition is aimed to manage the fast-growing risks that are multiplying at the breakneck speed of adoption of facial recognition software.
The EU highlights the rights of its citizens under the general data protection regulation (GDPR), of not being a subject of a decision solely based on automated processing and individual profiling. During the ban period, the EU will look into developing a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of AI technology and improving the possible risk management measures.
Brexit enthusiasts often cite the possibility of driving forward in the field of AI as one of the most significant advantages for the UK as it leaves Brussels’ regulatory orbit. But, the critics claim Brussels is highly cautious in its treatment of new technological developments. Facial recognition software is growing at the fastest pace as it is the staple of Europe’s public and private surveillance networks.
Civil rights organizations are voicing their concern at the speed at which the facial recognition technology is being adopted across public and private domains. UK’s data protection watchdogs have also urged caution on the use of facial recognition, describing it as intrusive technology.
Countries are now looking at a range of options for dealing with the legal and ethical questions posed by AI. Under one plan, developers will need to follow a voluntary ethical code. The commission is also seeking minimum standards for government departments looking for the use of legally binding EU instruments for “high–risk applications of AI.” This will mainly be applicable in more critical areas such as transport, policing, healthcare, and the judiciary.
This ban was much needed to fully reap the benefits of AI, improve the life of EU citizens, and to preserve the leadership of EU businesses. To maximize the benefits of AI and address the challenges associated with technology, Europe has to unite to define a more human way of implementing this technology. Trust and security of EU citizens will be the center of the AI adoption strategy by the EU.