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MEPs call on European Commission to ban mass surveillance in Artifical Intelligence Regulation

In a cross-party letter 40 Members of the European Parliament call on the European Commission to revise the proposed regulation on Artificial Intelligence that was leaked earlier this week and is to be officially proposed next week.

In its draft regulation on Artificial Intelligence, the European Commission addresses the use of remote biometric identification technologies in public spaces but fails to ban it. MEPs also strongly protest the proposed exemption allowing for the use of AI for purposes of „indiscriminate surveillance“  by public authorities and private actors acting on their behalf “in order to safeguard public security”. Patrick Breyer MEP explains:

„Public security is precisely what indiscriminate bulk processing of personal data has been justified with in the past. However, legislation allowing for indiscriminate mass surveillance has consistently been annulled by the courts due to their incompatibility with fundamental rights. The Commission needs to delete this cave-out. With regard to the regulation of remote biometric identification technologies in particular, the Commission proposal not only fails to ban these unprecedentedly intrusive mass surveillance technologies. Parts of the proposed regulation could even be interpreted to create a new legal basis and thus actively enable biometric mass surveillance where it is today unlawful.“

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