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Hand-wringing about AI spreads to government and big business

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Surveillance
Hand-wringing about AI spreads to government and big business

A UK justice committee has reacted with alarm at the lack of awareness, control and oversight of AI technologies including biometric surveillance.

Algorithms have benefits that need to be protected, but human and civil rights must be protected equally, according to the committee.

It is time to impose “a duty of candour on the police” requiring officials to be open about all AI tools they use, according to the Justice and Home Affair Committee.

In fact, law enforcement and the justice system must be immediately required to register all algorithms being used. Committee members “uncovered” rapid technological development that politicians and the public are unaware of.

The panel’s findings have been published a report stating that AI used in the justice system “can have serious implications for a person’s human rights and civil liberties.”

And yet, according to the report, there is a lack of proper oversight over tools being used today by police, according to the report.

There are few standards of any kind, as well.

The report delves specifically into automated facial recognition, and the court decision about a real-time public biometric surveillance deployment.

Committee members want a national body to set strict requirements and protocols for technical, transparency and performance metrics.

An international group of government representatives, business leaders and privacy advocates met this week to discuss reins for AI and biometrics, and they broadly referenced the UK committee.

The Biometrics Institute gathered to discuss the growth of the technology and said many positive aspects exist, but there now is a large number of unregulated and potentially risky uses. They threaten human rights including privacy.

The institute includes many biometrics providers, plus Facebook, Mastercard, U.S. Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, the World Privacy Forum and others.

A speaker from business consulting giant Accenture pointed to the UK Surveillance Camera Code of Practice that calls for “suitably validated facial recognition.” No further guidance is offered for what it requires.

Turning to the Justice and Home Affairs report’s call for nationally controlled industry, government and technology standards, the question was raised whether it was time to license AI, at least for public uses.

Like many other aspects of AI, that topic was left for future discussions.

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