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According to an early draft of a European commission white paper obtained by the news website Euractiv the usage of facial recognition software in public places may be challenged, since it may be in violation of the right of EU citizens not to be subject of a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, according to the Guardian. Due to the concerns relating to data protection, the EU could temporarily (for a period of 3-5 years) ban the use of facial recognition technology in public places such as train stations, sport stadiums and shopping centres

A temporary prohibition is seen as a way for Brussels to manage the risks said to be posed by the breakneck speed at which the software is being adopted – photo: techspot.com

Facial recognition software is planned to be used in more and more countries all over Europe in public surveillance networks, e.g. in the UK to identify people suspected of committing a crime, in Germany in railway stations and airports, and in France to allow its citizens to access secure government websites.

In addition to the general data protection issues relating to facial recogniton, Brussels is looking at a range of options for dealing with the ethical and legal questions posed by artificial intelligence. Under one plan, developers would be asked to follow a voluntary ethical code. They would receive a gold-standard label in return. The final version of the document is due to be published in February as part of a wider overhaul of the regulation of artificial intelligence.

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