The European Union May Ban Facial Recognition For 5-Year Review Of Tech
The European Union May Ban Facial Recognition For 5-Year Review Of Tech by Aaron Kesel for Activist Post
The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology which has raised massive privacy concerns over the years since its inception, risking us walking into George Orwell’s nightmare 1984.
The European Commission is considering a ban on all facial recognition technology in public places for three to five years, the BBC reported.
The Commission hopes to examine the technology during these years with “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” the EC’s 18-page white paper on facial recognition writes.
The proposal seeks to add to the already existing regulation surrounding privacy and data rights or the GDPR (General Data Protection Rights). The proposed law seeks to impose restrictions on “both developers and users of artificial intelligence, and urged EU countries to create an authority to monitor the new rules.”
According to the news agency, the proposals come amid calls from politicians and campaigners in the UK to stop the police from using live facial recognition for public surveillance.
Facial recognition technology has shown numerous issues over the years such as racial bias. Other problems notable by Fight For The Future, which ran a campaign against implementing the technology at music venues, cited “dangers to their fans in the form of police harassment including — misidentification, deportation, arrests for outstanding charges during an event and drug use during an event, discrimination at their concerts, and fans in a permanent government database,” all very valid concerns.
Last year, Activist Post consistently reported numerous studies finding that the technology’s accuracy isn’t all it’s marketed to be. Then Big Brother Watch, a watchdog observing UK Metropolitan Police trials, stated the technology misidentified members of the public, including a 14-year-old black child in a school uniform who was stopped and fingerprinted by police, as potential criminals in as much as 96 percent of scans, according to the organization in a press release.
In eight trials in London between 2016 and 2018, the technology gave “false positives” that wrongly identified individuals as crime suspects when an individual passed through an area with a facial recognition camera. Although the UK is now in the process of leaving the EU by the end of this month, the trial showed 96 percent of scans used by police to track watch list suspects were inaccurate, that’s a big deal!
Still, even after the UK leaves the EU, the country will remain under its laws until at least the end of 2020.
No matter where you look, BIG brother has been pushing the use of surveillance technology all over, not just the UK, from Amazon helping law enforcement with its Facial Rekogntion software, DHS wanting to use it for border control, to the Olympics wanting to use the tech for security.
Even retail is pushing for the technology as an anti-theft mechanism to be introduced in a thousands of stores using biometric facial recognition software FaceFirst to build a database of shoplifters, as Activist Post reported.
Some of the biggest airports in the country — estimated at 16 airports across the U.S. — are now scanning us as we board international flights. While CBP (Customs And Border Protection) expects to scale up the program to cover more than 97 percent of passengers flying outside of the U.S. by 2021, according to Nextgov.
Further, the policy director of U.S. CBP believes that facial recognition has already become essential. The agency’s head Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner has also hilariously said that its facial tracking technology isn’t surveillance, as Activist Post reported.
In 2017, Homeland Security clarified their position on domestic spying, stating that Americans who don’t want their faces scanned leaving the country “shouldn’t travel.”
“The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling,” the DHS wrote in a document.