EU Privacy Watchdog Says Facial Recognition Should be Banned

Facial recognition and search and surveillance of a person in the modern digital age, the concept. Young woman with phone in crowd of people on the street, identification and modern technology
There are concerns about how much facial recognition breaks privacy protocols and the potential for misuse.

EU privacy watchdog the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) says that facial recognition should be banned in Europe due to a “deep and non-democratic intrusion” into private lives. 


The comments come only two days after the European Union proposed rules to allow facial recognition in the search for criminals and missing children and in the event of terrorist attacks. 


The draft rules, which must be expanded and debated among EU countries and the European Parliament, are an attempt by the EU to set a global standard for artificial intelligence use. Artificial intelligence is currently dominated by the United States and China without much influence from other countries. 


The EDPS said that it regretted the Commission failed to heed an earlier request to outright ban facial recognition in public areas. 


“A stricter approach is necessary given that remote biometric identification, where AI may contribute to unprecedented developments, presents extremely high risks of deep and non-democratic intrusion into individuals’ private lives,” a statement from the EDPS reads.


“The EDPS will focus in particular on setting precise boundaries for those tools and systems which may present risks for the fundamental rights to data protection and privacy.”


The proposed rules have drawn criticism from civil rights groups who are concerned that loopholes in the legislation could allow authoritarian governments to misuse AI and abuse human rights. 

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