The European Union considering temporary facial recognition ban

Bubbajim

Posts: 720   +694

Regulation for some of the worst aspects of the internet age has been notoriously slow to come about. People spent 20 years giving away personal data before governments and regulators started to take the issue seriously. That’s not a mistake that the EU are wanting to repeat, as they are looking to ensure that issues around new and emerging technologies are given adequate consideration.

In a new draft of a European Commission whitepaper on artificial intelligence, mention is made of the inherent risks to privacy and human rights that ‘biometric remote identification’ (I.e. facial recognition) poses. And one current solution that the EU is exploring is, “a time-limited ban on the use of facial recognition by private or public actors in public spaces.”

The leaked draft goes on to say that during a three to five-year ban “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed.”

The EU already has some of the strictest regulations in the world when it comes to personal data and its use by companies and governments, so the news that similarly strong standards are being looked at for biometric data will no doubt please privacy-minded citizens.

The paper does note that “it would be necessary to foresee some exceptions [to the ban], notably for activities in the context of research and development and for security purposes.” So precisely how far the temporary ban would go is still unknown.

But given the nature of the technology, any constraints on its use are likely to be worth exploring. After all, one only needs to look at the Chinese government’s use of facial recognition and ‘social scoring’ to see the kind of dystopian implementation that’s possible.

We’ll likely have to wait until the European Commission’s paper is formalized in February to find out more.

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Hexic

Posts: 738   +754
TechSpot Elite
After all of these years being under the eye of Big Brother, and now the EU wakes up?

Right. Nothing will change. The monitoring infrastructure is there and the populace has been classically conditioned for too long.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,184   +3,371
I remember when stores started asking for your phone number even if you paid in cash. At first I complained like any reasonable person would and the employees would just shrug and say it was company policy like how every fast food worker is required to attempt an "upsell". Eventually I started giving them the number of the local police department but now I've switched to the FCC. Enjoy, scumbags.
 
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arrowflash

Posts: 171   +148
Aaah, facial recognition. Another one of those things companies invest too much time preoccupied if they could, and not enough wondering if they should. Just like most developing tech these days.
 

Yynxs

Posts: 544   +183
TechSpot Elite
Or the foilweb translation..."EU wants moratorium on facial recognition until methods can be devised to and engineering solutions implemented to control populations."
 
Or the foilweb translation..."EU wants moratorium on facial recognition until methods can be devised to and engineering solutions implemented to control populations."
If you live in the EU be thankful that they are committed to having regulations to control tech, which may or may not have nefarious motives. The alternative is China where they only have nefarious motives.
 
I remember when stores started asking for your phone number even if you paid in cash. At first I complained like any reasonable person would and the employees would just shrug and say it was company policy like how every fast food worker is required to attempt an "upsell". Eventually I started giving them the number of the local police department but now I've switched to the FCC. Enjoy, scumbags.
In which country do they do that? I've only ever encountered that in airports where they want your boarding card, and apparently, despite the protests, we must hand it over or not get our goods.
 
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Yynxs

Posts: 544   +183
TechSpot Elite
In which country do they do that? I've only ever encountered that in airports where they want your boarding card, and apparently, despite the protests, we must hand it over or not get our goods.
That country would be the US and it went on for many years. I've paid cash for stuff since the 90s and distinctly remember Radio Shacks registers not being able to proceed without a phone number. Best Buy did it and, I believe, had to ask management for an override if you refused. Was just asked for the same about 4 days ago in a Shell Station while paying cash. Everyone seems to have an override now though.