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EU considering several year ban on public facial recognition technology

As technology continues to improve, we are moving closer towards an era where facial recognition technology is going to be more widespread in public spaces. Plans to roll this out may be halted for a while in Europe though, as the EU is mulling over a five-year ban so that better legal terms can be worked out. 

As reported by Reuters, The European Commission wants new laws introduced to protect European citizen’s privacy and data rights. In order to do that, a ban of “three to five years” should give enough time for the EU to come up with “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures”.

In particular, specific rules will need to be set around the use of artificial intelligence across the European Union. As pointed about by Trusted Reviews, currently the General Data Protection Regulation requires valid consent from citizens to their faces being scanned. Entering a public space is not classed as valid consent if there is no way to opt-out.

No final decision has been made but the EU Commission is seeking feedback on an 18-page white paper before making a verdict. Proposals are expected to be presented next month.

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