On the day before the crucial vote on the European Parliament‘s negotiating mandate on artificial intelligence, Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer levelled serious accusations against EU governments, the EU Commission and conservative MEPs who want to allow automated facial recognition in public spaces. At the same time, Breyer justified the cross-party motion to add automated behavioural surveillance to the list of prohibited technologies.
His speech in full:
“Governments in France and elsewhere dream that machines could rid the world of all evil if only they could whisper to us who is going where with whom and when, or who is behaving ‘abnormally’.
In reality, not a single terrorist has been found with biometric mass surveillance, not a single attack has been prevented, instead countless arrests of innocent citizens have been made, up to 99% of citizens have been falsely reported as suspects.
Your supposed exceptions are window dressing – thousands are wanted by judge’s order at any time.
You open a Pandora’s box and lead us into a dystopian future of a distrustful high-tech surveillance state based on the Chinese model. You are willing to hand authoritarian governments of the present and the future an unprecedented weapon of oppression.
Under constant surveillance we are no longer free!
Automatic behavioural surveillance destroys freedom, diversity, protest. We don’t want to live in a dead, conformist consumer society of yes-sayers.
Let’s secure a future free of biometric mass surveillance for Europe, and a future of freedom and diversity for our children!”