why EU eyes temporary ban on facial recognition in public places?

EU eyes temporary ban on facial recognition in public places



The EU could temporarily ban the utilization of face recognition technology publicly places like train stations, sport stadiums and shopping centers over fears about creeping surveillance of European citizens.

A prohibition lasting between three and five years is seen as how for Brussels to manage the risks said to be posed by the breakneck speed at which the software is being adopted.

The option is contained in an early draft of a European commission white paper obtained by the news website Euractiv. The final version is due to be published in February as part of a wider overhaul of the regulation of artificial intelligence.
The draft document points to the proper under the overall data protection regulation for EU citizens “not to be subject of a choice based solely on automated processing, including profiling. ”Framework for AI could“ include a time-limited ban on the utilization of face recognition technology publicly spaces ”.

The paper states that the “use of face recognition technology by private or public actors publicly spaces would be prohibited for a particular period (eg three to 5 years) during which a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures might be identified and developed. ”

The possibility of driving forward in the field of artificial intelligence is often cited by Brexit enthusiasts as one of the major advantages for the UK as it leaves Brussels ’regulatory orbit. Critics claim Brussels is overly cautious in its treatment of new developments.

The UK will leave the EU at the end of this month but remain under its laws until at least the end of 2020. The coming negotiation over the future relationship will determine how closely the UK will align to EU rules, including on data handling and collection .

Facial recognition software is one of the fastest-growing technologies and is becoming a staple of Europe’s private and public surveillance networks.
Three UK police forces - the Met, South Wales and Leicestershire - are trialling such software as an “innovative” way to identify people suspected of committing a crime or on watchlists.

The German government is planning to roll out facial recognition technology in 134 railway stations and 14 airports after a successful trial in Berlin.

France is set to become the first EU country to allow its citizens to access secure government websites through such software. In July, the French parliament recommended a replacement regulatory framework to permit experimentation.

In September, the supreme court in London ruled that South Wales police acted lawfully and didn't breach human rights or data protection laws in its use of face recognition software.

Civil rights organizations have voiced their concern at the speed at which the technology is being adopted. The UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, has urged caution on the use of what it describes as an “intrusive” technology.

Last weekend, football supporters and civil rights activists expressed their anger after two surveillance vans equipped with the technology were seen patrolling outside Cardiff City’s stadium before a derby match with Swansea.
The campaign group Big Brother Watch organized a protest and a banner was unfurled inside the stadium during the Championship game reading “No facial recognition”.

More broadly, Brussels is looking at a range of options for dealing with the ethical and legal questions posed by artificial intelligence. Under one plan, developers would be asked to follow a voluntary ethical code. They would receive a gold-standard label in return.

The commission is additionally watching minimum standards for state departments and therefore the use of legally binding EU instruments when it comes “high – risk applications of artificial intelligence” in areas like healthcare, transport, policing and therefore the judiciary.

A commission spokesman declined to comment on the leaked paper. He said the commission wanted to “fully reap the advantages of AI - to enable scientific breakthrough, to preserve the leadership of EU businesses, to enhance the life of every EU citizen by enhancing diagnosis and healthcare or increasing the efficiency of farming”.

The spokesman added: “To maximize the advantages and address the challenges of AI has got to act together and can define its own way, a person's way. Technology has got to serve a purpose and therefore the people. Trust and security of EU citizens will therefore be at the middle of the EU’s strategy.

Data is the indispensable raw ingredient of AI. We thus have to unlock, exploit and make flow data generated and owned in Europe, to create wealth for our societies and opportunities for our businesses. Our industry is world leader in most innovative sectors. Europe has everything it needs to be successful. ”

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