European Commission considers banning face recognition

January 21, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
European Commission considers banning face recognition
The European Commission is preparing a white paper on artificial intelligence that could propose a multi-year ban on the use of face recognition in public spaces.

The ban could be for three or five years and is being set so that authorities and companies can develop ethical and privacy systems under updated rules about safety and liability, according to Bloomberg, which obtained an advance copy of the white paper.

The proposed rules apply to "high-risk" areas such as healthcare and transport and the optional, personal use to unlock smartphones does not appear to be included in the ban.

Incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said her team would present a new legislative approach on AI within first hundred days of her taking office on December 1, 2019. The EC is due to unveil the white paper mid-February.

The initiative is part of an effort by the EC to help Europe catch up with the United States and China in the development of artificial intelligence systems. The best way forward would appear to be through the use of legislation to define a European style of AI with an emphasis on trust and security.

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