The EU Is Considering a Five-Year Ban on Facial Recognition

The EU Is Considering a Five-Year Ban on Facial Recognition
21 Jan 2020
Governance > The EU Is Considering a Five-Year Ban on Facial Recognition

The European Union is considering a temporary ban on facial recognition technology in public areas, giving regulations time to catch up with the controversial technology, according to a leaked European Commission whitepaper. 

The 18-page whitepaper, revealed by Euractiv, aims to prevent both governments and businesses from abusing the technology, by imposing obligations on developers and users. 

The document also calls on EU countries to create an authority to monitor the rules of using such technologies.  

The ban will last between three to five years, meanwhile “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” according to the document that is expected to be published in February.

It also suggests five regulatory options for artificial intelligence across the EU, which include voluntary labeling, sectorial requirements for public administration and facial recognition, mandatory risk-based requirements for high-risk applications, safety and liability, and governance.

The proposal comes amid calls in the UK to stop the police using live facial recognition for public surveillance, the BBC reported.  

Experts and civil groups have warned that the technology in its current state is “biased,” “racist,” and threatens basic privacy rights

Last year, San Francisco was the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition by police. City administrators said that the technology is still “unreliable, and represented an unnecessary infringement on people’s privacy and liberty.”

Meanwhile, China has imposed mandatory facial recognition for mobile phone users. The measure, described by the ministry of industry and information as a way to “protect the legitimate rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace,” makes Chinese mobile phone and internet users easier to track, The Guardian reported.



Structure for the whitepaper on artificial intelligence - a European approach

EU calls for five-year ban on facial recognition

Facial recognition: EU considers ban of up to five years

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Many Facial-Recognition Systems Are Biased, Says U.S. Study

How facial recognition technology threatens basic privacy rights

San Francisco is first US city to ban facial recognition

China brings in mandatory facial recognition for mobile phone users

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