The EU is about to ban predictive policing and facial recognition

The EU moves closer to a landmark ban on predictive policing and facial recognition.

In a key vote today on the Union’s flagship AI law, two committees of MEPs in the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved sweeping new rules for artificial intelligence. The text will now be voted on by the entire European Parliament in June. Once passed, the regulation will be the world’s first comprehensive AI law.

In the vote on Thursday, the MPs agreed to a tightened version of the rules. The law now bans predictive policing and facial recognition in public spaces.

The changes also introduce new constraints on generative models like ChatGPT and emotion detection.

Civil rights activists have welcomed the move. fair processes, a law enforcement official called the vote “a landmark result” for human rights.

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“These systems automate injustice, exacerbate and reinforce racism and discrimination in policing and the criminal justice system, and foster systemic inequality in society,” said Griff Ferris, senior legal and policy officer at Fair Trials.

“The European Parliament has taken an important step by voting to ban these systems and we urge them to complete this work at the final vote in June.”

The industry is reacting

In the technology sector, reactions to the vote were mixed. The Software Alliance (BSA), a lobby group representing companies such as Microsoft and IBM, has called for further clarification.

“The enterprise software industry remains concerned about the division of responsibilities in the industry AI value chain and the treatment of foundation models,” said Matteo Quattrocchi, Policy Director of the BSA.

“The rules currently being drafted are not tailored to reflect the role of companies in the industry AI ecosystem or differences in business models and AI and will likely not address some of the concerns raised by specific applications of some fundamental models.”

Privacy professionals, meanwhile, can expect continued demand for their services. Isabelle Roccia, MD for Europe at the International Association of Privacy Professionals, expects the impact to be significant.

“Organizations will increasingly need to rely on their data protection teams to operationalize AI, as their data governance skills are highly transferrable and highly relevant to AI governance,” she said.

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