Highlights | Open letters | Privacy and data protection | Artificial intelligence (AI) | Biometrics

Civil society calls for AI red lines in the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence proposal

European Digital Rights together with 61 civil society organisations have sent an open letter to the European Commission demanding red lines for the applications of AI that threaten fundamental rights.

By EDRi · January 12, 2021

People protesting

Designed by: Life Matters/ Pexels

With the European Union’s AI proposal set to launch this quarter, Europe has the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that true innovation can arise only when we can be confident that everyone will be protected from the most harmful, egregious violations of our fundamental rights. Europe’s industries – from AI developers to car manufacturing companies – will benefit greatly from the regulatory certainty that comes from clear legal limits and an even playing field for fair competition.

Civil society across Europe – and the world – have pointed out the urgent need for regulatory limits on deployments of artificial intelligence that restrict human rights. It is vital that the upcoming regulatory proposal unequivocally addresses the enabling of biometric mass surveillance (which campaign ‘Reclaim Your Face’ is fighting); monitoring of public spaces; exacerbating structural discrimination, exclusion and collective harms; impeding access to vital services such as health-care and social security; impeding fair access to justice and procedural rights; uses of systems which make inferences and predictions about our most sensitive characteristics, behaviours and thoughts; and, crucially, the manipulation or control of human behaviour and associated threats to human dignity, agency, and collective democracy.

Read the open letter shared by European Digital Rights together with 61 civil society organisations here.

The list of signatories include:

European Digital Rights (EDRi), including:

Access Now
Bits of Freedom
Chaos Computer Club
D3 – Defesa dos Direitos Digitais
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Hermes Center
Homo Digitalis
IT-Pol Denmark
Iuridicum Remedium
Metamorphosis Foundation
Panoptykon Foundation
Privacy International

Other signatories:
AI Now Institute, NYU
Algorithm Watch
Amnesty International
App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU)
Associazione Certi Diritti
Associazione Luca Coscioni
Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione
Big Brother Watch
Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ)
Democratic Society
Digitale Freiheit
Dutch Section – International Commission of Jurists (NJCM)
Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V.
European Disability Forum
European Evangelical Alliance (EEA)
European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
European Network On Religion and Belief (ENORB)
European Roma Grassroots Organizations (ERGO) Network
European Youth Forum
Fair Trials
Federation of Humanitarian Technologists
Fundación Secretariado Gitano
Greek Forum of Migrants
Human Rights Watch
International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Decade for People of African Descent, Spain
Kif Kif
Ligue des Droits Humains
Montreal AI Ethics Institute
Open Society European Policy Institute
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
Privacy Network
Ranking Digital Rights
Refugee Law Lab, York University
Save Space e.V.
Simply Secure
Stop Ethnic Profiling Platform Belgium
StraLi – for Strategic Litigation
UNI europa – European Services Workers Union
University College Dublin Centre for Digital Policy

Since then the following organisations have signed:

European Center for Not-For-Profit Law Stichting
Central Council of German Sinti and Roma