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EU: Proposed legislation on artificial intelligence 'falls short'

Surveillance cameras
Surveillance cameras © Vicente Mendez / Getty

EU must close ‘many loopholes’ on live facial recognition

‘This will undoubtedly be weaponised against migrants and refugees’ - Rasha Abdul Rahim

Responding to a new European Union proposal for regulating the use of artificial intelligence technologies, Rasha Abdul Rahim, Director of Amnesty Tech, said:   

“The EU’s proposal falls short of what is needed to protect the public.

“While the proposal bans real-time facial recognition from being used by law enforcement in public spaces except under narrow circumstances, significant gaps remain in banning private uses of live facial recognition and many other forms of remote biometric surveillance. 

“It also still allows real-time facial recognition to be used on people who are suspected of irregularly entering or living in a member state - this will undoubtedly be weaponised against migrants and refugees.

“Under the proposed ban, police will still be able to use non-live facial recognition software with CCTV cameras to track our every move, scraping images from social media accounts without people’s consent. 

“The proposed legislation does not go far enough in addressing the risks of AI entrenching and exacerbating racism and discrimination. Research has shown that facial recognition software is overwhelmingly less accurate with Black and Brown faces, and since there’s systemic racism in law enforcement this can be used against the community and lead to wrongful arrests.

“We are calling on the EU to close the many loopholes in this regulation which leave the door open to rampant abuse and discriminatory practices, including banning the use of all facial recognition systems used for mass surveillance.”

Amnesty’s Ban the Scan campaign calls for a ban on the development, sale, deployment and export of facial recognition technologies for identification by the state or by private entities.

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