European Union Positions Itself as the Face of AI Facial Recognition Tech


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In an announcement last week, the European Union revealed that it is establishing guidelines for addressing Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition technology. As Tech Financial reports, proposed new rules were drafted to set up a framework that will capitalize on the benefits of AI without infringing on the rights of people who interact with it.

“On Artificial Intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have. With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age. “By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way.”

The European Union aims to establish itself as the standard bearer for AI development with guidelines intended to allow both innovation and the safe participation of users. China has come under criticism for using technology for the mass surveillance of its citizens, a situation the EU wants to avoid. The rules under development include provisions like the need to make a user aware that he or she is interacting with a chatbot rather than a live person.

Facial recognition technology and law enforcement is another sensitive area in AI progress. The EU’s guidelines would prohibit law enforcement from actively monitoring publicly accessible spaces with remote biometric identification systems. It further states that AI designed to threaten an individual’s safety, rights, and livelihood would not be permissible.

“Future-proof and innovation-friendly, our rules will intervene, where strictly needed: when the safety and fundamental rights of EU citizens are at stake,” stated Vestager.  

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