Facial Recognition: Why Is Its Ban Being Considered in the EU?

The European Commission is thinking about a ban on facial recognition in public places for up to 5 years.

The regulators need time to work out how to avert the abuse of this tech. It’s used to check faces caught on CCTVs against watch lists.

An exception of the ban could be made for security projects and for research and development purposes.

The Commission plan spreads out on an 18-page-document and it points out that there will be new rules to improve the current regulation in terms of data rights and privacy of this tech.

The document also proposes imposing obligations on developers and users of AIs and it urges countries from the EU to form an authority which will monitor these new rules.

College Students Demand Ban of Facial Recognition in Schools

The digital rights activism organization Fight for the Future worked together with Students for Sensible Drug Policy to ban facial recognition from being introduced in colleges.

The coalition’s petition can be signed by students, faculty, employees, and members of the community.

It demands that the administration of universities makes clearer policies on contracts with security companies using this tech and to ultimately, stop using it altogether.

The campaign also gives a toolkit for the members of student governments to implement resolutions for prohibiting this controversial tech. But, student governments don’t control university policies.

Generally Creepy, but also not 100 % Correct?

Despite being creepy on its own, according to studies, facial recognition is also more frequently misidentifying people or color.

Experts claim that this tech bias may cause serious mistakes made by law enforcement and it could impede freedom of speech and assembly.

The Fight for Future has recently been successful in getting big festivals like Coachella to disavow any planned usage of facial recognition at their venues.

Controversy around Facial Recognition in the US

This tech has caused a lot of debate and worry in both primary and high schools.

The New York Lockport School District was planning on using it to avert school shootings- a great marketing angle of the tech; however, its effectiveness in this area hasn’t been proven.

After the community and nation’s outrage over using the children in the tests, the district stopped with the planning.

There’s also a state bill in New York made to prohibit the technology.

Indeed, college campuses have long been a debate because of the violation of civil liberties such as the freedom of speech.

Some of these privacy victories don’t mean that facial recognition is a past- the Customs and Border Patrol in the US already uses it at 15 airports and they plan on increasing the number to scan faces of individuals leaving the US in commercial flights.

And, a lot of US police departments are using it.

Sources:

MASHABLE

BBC

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