Members of the European Union are considering a ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public places for up to five years, to allow some time to exercise how to prevent abuses, Reuters reported.
At its core, facial technology enables a real-time check of faces captured on CCTV footages.
The plan by the EU Commission – written in an 18-page white paper – comes amid an international debate regarding the systems directed by artificial intelligence and broadly used by law enforcement agencies. Suggestions were made on introducing new rules about privacy and data rights.
“Building on these current provisions, the future regulatory framework could go further and take in a time-limited ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces,” said EU document. During the ban, of around three to five years, “a solid methodology for judging the impacts of this technology and potential risk management measures could be identified and developed.”
It was hinted that exceptions to the ban could be made for security projects as well as research & development, the paper demonstrated.
The document also signaled possible revision of obligations on both developers and users of artificial intelligence technology and that countries of the European Union should appoint authorities to stay aware of the new rules’ performance.
The EU’s executive will seek feedback on its white paper before announcing any final decision, said officials.
Margrethe Vestager, EU digital and antitrust Chief is expected to come up with her proposal next month.
The U.S. government earlier this month released a statement that regulatory guidelines on artificial intelligence were intended to limit authorities’ overreach and urged Europe not to make use of aggressive approaches.
How does live facial recognition technology work professionally?
Here we’ll discuss some basic methods in which the technology work.
1) Faces in existing police photos mapped by the software.
2) Cameras at different events scan faces in a public crowd.
3) Faces compared for likely matches and flagged to officers.
4) Photos of false matches kept in records for weeks.
In the meantime, the Chinese government has begun the use of facial recognition technology in pharmacies in Shanghai for people buying certain drugs. People acquiring controlled medicines, such as those compromising psychotropic substances, will be asked to validate their identity by scanning their face.
It could be a new move by the state of China to stop potential abusers from receiving hold of particular medicines to develop some prohibited drugs.
China is currently a leading supporter of facial recognition, and while the West remains vigilant, Chinese continue to pursue the technology.