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EU committee passes AI bill on for plenary vote; tightens rules for biometric use

EU committee passes AI bill on for plenary vote; tightens rules for biometric use

The European Parliament appears ready to regulate biometric surveillance like a necessary evil in the bloc’s proposed AI Act.

Tight and multitudinous draft rules for artificial intelligence have won resounding final committee approval and are ready for a plenary vote in about a month. After that, national governments will have the final say.

According to reports, conservatives in the Parliament held out to the end with language that would make AI generally and biometrics specifically accessible to businesses and governments.

It has been praised as a “liberal win” by Svenja Hahn a shadow rapporteur, according to reporting by Forbes.com.

Patrick Breyer, parliamentarian and member of Germany’s Pirate Party, called the 57:36:10 vote a “historic breakthrough.” Still, according to Breyer, the act as approved allows “monitoring our behavior in public to report us for allegedly ‘abnormal’ activity.” He wants even tighter rules passed in the plenary vote.

Biometric practices that would be banned include real-time facial recognition conducted in public places. Doing so, according to the document, puts “parties deploying biometric identification in … a position of uncontrollable power.”

Running historical video through analysis algorithms would be legal only when approved by a judge beforehand.

Scraping facial images from the internet or CCTV cameras would also be prohibited. The same would be true for so-called emotion recognition algorithms would be illegal.

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