Two European privacy watchdogs have joined forces to call for a blanket ban on the use of biometric recognition in public spaces, outlawing such tech as AI-based facial, DNA, fingerprint and other recognition systems.
The joint opinion was published by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on Monday.
“The EDPB and the EDPS call for a general ban on any use of AI for automated recognition of human features in publicly accessible spaces, such as recognition of faces, gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes and other biometric or behavioral signals,” the two watchdogs said.
Joint opinion of @EU_EDPB and #EDPS on the @EU_Commission ‘s proposed Regulation on #AI.— EDPS (@EU_EDPS) June 21, 2021
Among other recommendations, they call for a ban on the use of AI for automated recognition of human features in publicly accessible spaces.
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Remote biometric identification, and, in particular, use of AI for such purposes, pose extremely high risks for European society and its values, the watchdogs warned. A blanket ban on facial recognition tech should be the first step to avoid turning into a high-tech dystopia, they argue.
“A general ban on the use of facial recognition in publicly accessible areas is the necessary starting point if we want to preserve our freedoms and create a human-centric legal framework for AI,” the heads of the two watchdogs said, in a joint statement.
“The proposed regulation should also prohibit any type of use of AI for social scoring, as it is against the EU’s fundamental values and can lead to discrimination“