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Breyer appeals court ruling on secretive EU AI „video lie detector“ research

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

With an appeal filed on Friday, Member of the European Parliament Patrick Breyer is challenging a 2021 court decision on secretive EU-funded development of an AI-driven „video lie detector“ and risk classification to be used on travellers to Europe („iBorderCtrl“). The European Court ruled on 15 December 2021 that the public can partially access the project documentation where it generally discusses the reliability, ethics and legality of such technology. However the Court considered that commercial interests rule out public access to information on the specific iBorderCtrl technology, including its legality, its reliability (false positives), the risk of discrimination and mitigation measures. Following Breyer’s appeal the European Court of Justice will revisit the first instance decision (case C-135/22 P).

“As we can see in China, AI-driven mass surveillance and control technology threatens the future of our open and democratic societies. The secrecy of EU-funded research and development in these areas fundamentally disrespects the role of the media and science as independent watchdogs. I cannot accept that commercial interests in selling dystopian Big Brother technology are given priority over our right to determine our destiny.”

Human rights NGO Article19 supports Breyer’s appeal:

“The appeal’s outcome will set an important precedent about the levels of transparency that the EU must uphold when pursuing technological innovation as a means of border control, or any other controls over people in the EU.”

Press briefing