EU considers temporary ban on facial recognition in public spaces

European Union leaders are considering a ban on the use of facial recognition in public spaces for up to five years until safeguards to mitigate the technologys risks are in place, according to a draft document obtained by POLITICO.

Building on Europes existing tough privacy laws, a “future regulatory framework could go further and include a time-limited ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces,” states an 18-page draft for a “white paper” that Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager is expected to present to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and other commissioners during a meeting in mid-February. According to an official directly involved, the document was created before the nomination of Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

“This would mean that the use of facial recognition technology by private or public actors in public spaces would be prohibited for a definite period (e.g. 3-5 years) during which a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” the document adds.

The EUs new leadership, which took office in December, announced it would initiate legislation for AI technology within its first 100 days in office, hoping to make the bloc the first region in the world with laws for the emerging technologies.

As a first step, Brussels will release a “white paper” in late February, spelling out different options on how to proceed. Afterward, the EU will spend months collecting feedback from the industry, civil society and national governments, according to officials involved in the process; hard lawsRead More – Source

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