Facial recognition poses one of the biggest challenges for individual privacy and fundamental data protection and privacy rights, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the body responsible for EU privacy monitoring.
The privacy watchdog issued a press release days after the European Commission hinted it would allow the use of facial recognition in specific cases, including searches for missing children or criminals and in cases of terrorist attacks.
“The EDPS regrets that our previous calls for a moratorium on the use of remote biometric identification systems – including facial recognition – in publicly accessible spaces have not been addressed by the Commission”, he said in a press release.
On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed the first-ever legal framework on AI, which it said aimed to tackle the risks of AI and position Europe to play a leading role at the level global. Currently, artificial intelligence technology is dominated by China and the United States.
“To promote the development of AI and address the high potential risks it poses to security and fundamental rights alike, the Commission is presenting both a proposal for an AI regulatory framework and a plan coordinated revised on AI, ”the Commission said in a note. .
The draft rules must reach the node of the countries of the EU and the European Parliament.
Stating that there are many applications of artificial intelligence which pose a limited threat to fundamental data protection and privacy rights while giving humanity a potentially powerful tool to tackle the problems of today ‘hui, the EDPS said he would continue to advocate for a stricter approach to automated recognition in public spaces of human traits – such as faces but also gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes and other biometric or behavioral signals – whether used in a business or administrative context, or for law enforcement purposes.
“A stricter approach is needed given that remote biometric identification, where AI can contribute to unprecedented developments, presents extremely high risks of deep and undemocratic intrusion into the privacy of individuals,” said he said in a press release.
The EDPS said he would undertake a full analysis of the Commission proposal to help the EU co-legislators to strengthen the protection of individuals and society as a whole.
“The EDPS will focus in particular on defining precise limits for tools and systems that may pose risks to fundamental data protection and privacy rights,” said the watchdog.
The European Commission’s proposals have been criticized by civil rights groups, concerned about loopholes that could allow authoritarian governments to abuse AI to quell dissent, activists and human rights.