Parliament votes against the use of AI for biometric surveillance by the police

On October 6, the European Parliament voted by 377 in favour, 248 against and 62 abstentions to forbid biometric surveillance through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by the police.

MEPs pointed to the risk of algorithmic bias in AI applications and emphasise that human supervision and strong legal powers are needed to prevent discrimination by AI, especially in a law enforcement or border-crossing context.

Human operators must always make the final decisions and subjects monitored by AI-powered systems must have access to remedy, say MEPs.

“Fundamental rights are unconditional. For the first time ever, we are calling for a moratorium on the deployment of facial recognition systems for law enforcement purposes, as the technology has proven to be ineffective and often leads to discriminatory results. We are clearly opposed to predictive policing based on the use of AI as well as any processing of biometric data that leads to mass surveillance. This is a huge win for all European citizens,” said MEP rapporteur Rapporteur Petar Vitanov.

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