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 60 civil society organisations here.