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EU lawmaker highlights law enforcement benefits of AI applications, face biometrics

EU lawmaker highlights law enforcement benefits of AI applications, face biometrics

European Parliament lawmaker Svenja Hahn called for the establishment of a “positive approach” to rules for artificial intelligence applications, including face biometrics, Reuters reports.

The policy expert said that some of these rules will be based on a recent report setting out a long-term AI strategy for the EU that was released by a cross-party parliamentary committee, of which she is also a member.

The document highlights how regulators should counter fears about AI by pointing to the role of the technology in tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including the fight against climate change, the promotion of innovative healthcare, and the reinforcement of the bloc’s democratic systems.

At the same time, according to Hahn, AI should not be used for biometric surveillance and social scoring systems, both of which she believes should be scrapped.

“The whole regulation needs to be innovation-friendly. It should not bring other aspects, for example, GDPR aspects, into it,” she told Reuters.

Hahn’s recent call comes almost exactly a year after the European Commission announced draft rules on the use of AI, which included a partial ban on biometric and other forms of surveillance and fees of as much as six percent of global turnover for related violations.

On that occasion, Sarah Chander from lobbying group CCIA warned that loopholes in the proposal could potentially leave room for abuse of the technology by repressive governments.

“The draft law does not prohibit the full extent of unacceptable uses of AI and in particular all forms of biometric mass surveillance. This leaves a worrying gap for discriminatory and surveillance technologies used by governments and companies,” she explained.

A year later, the European Parliament and EU countries have not yet finalized their negotiating positions which, according to a proposed schedule, should happen by the end of 2022.

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