In context: The European Union is looking to impose stricter limitations on the use of facial recognition. Coming on the heels of last year’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Commission is drafting legislation that goes beyond the GDPR.
The proposed laws would explicitly give citizens the ability to control their facial recognition data and to know when it is being used. It would require businesses, police, and other state agencies to abide by these provisions if they use such technology.
The GDPR already forbids the collection of “uniquely identifying” biometric data. However, the regulations under consideration would be more explicit. The Financial Times notes that the law would “set a world-standard for AI regulation.”
This is not the first time Europe has come down on facial recognition. Back in 2016, the EU asked Facebook to exclude the technology from the European version of its now-defunct Moments app. Before that, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner forbade Facebook from using facial recognition in Europe and demanded that it delete its already stored biometric data.
The Financial Times reports that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen vowed to have new artificial intelligence legislation drafted within her first 100 days in office. Her vision is to establish “a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of artificial intelligence.”
Facial recognition is only one tech that falls under the AI umbrella. The commission may consider imposing other restriction regarding the ethical use of artificial intelligence.