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Open letter urges strong regulation on AI and biometrics by European Commission

Open letter urges strong regulation on AI and biometrics by European Commission

European Digital Rights (EDRi), an association of civil and human rights organizations, along with 61 other civil society organizations is urging the European Commission to rapidly introduce clear regulatory lines for mass surveillance with biometrics and other areas of Artificial Intelligence in Europe via an open letter.

The aim of the letter is to rouse the Commission to tighten legal governance which will prevent uses of artificial intelligence that violate fundamental human rights. This move comes ahead of the Commission’s upcoming AI proposal set to launch in Q1 of this year.

The letter calls for more stringent limitations in the issues of; biometric mass surveillance (including the Reclaim Your Face campaign) and monitoring of public spaces; the surveillance of workers and infringement of workers’ fundamental rights; the use of systems which make inferences and predictions about our most sensitive characteristics, behaviors and thoughts; and, the manipulation or control of human behavior and associated threats to human dignity, agency, and collective democracy among others.

On biometric surveillance, the groups claim that indiscriminate or arbitrarily collected data processing will negatively affect people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, and intrude on their “psychological integrity.” The AI legislation must therefore, they argue, ban indiscriminate or arbitrary biometric processing to ensure biometric technology is not abused by law enforcement, national authorities or private organizations.

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