Civil society calls for stronger protections for fundamental rights in Artificial Intelligence law

In light of the recently leaked draft of the Regulation on A European Approach For Artificial Intelligence from January 2021 , EDRi and 14 of our members signed an open letter to the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to underline the importance of ensuring the necessary protections for fundamental rights in the new regulation.

Ursula von der Leyen’s letter to MEPs on 29 March 2021 assured that all high-risk artificial intelligence (AI) systems would be subject to mandatory rules, with even stronger measures for applications that are incompatible with fundamental rights. As EDRi has recently called for red lines against unacceptable uses of AI in the EU in two high profile civil society letters, we welcome this commitment from the Commission.

The recently leaked draft of the Regulation on A European Approach For Artificial Intelligence from January 2021 takes important steps in tackling the most harmful applications of AI, particularly with the inclusion of Article 4 on Prohibited Artificial Intelligence Practices. We welcome the inclusion of prohibitions, as it shows that the Commission is willing to place limits on applications of AI that are incompatible with fundamental rights.

However, based on the leaked document, we believe that the text of the proposal can still be improved to ensure the necessary protections for fundamental rights. You can read our recommendations in our open letter here.

The European Union has made a commitment to chart a path forward with artificial intelligence that places fundamental rights at its core. The upcoming legislative proposal is a unique opportunity to ensure the protection of fundamental rights of all in society,including those of marginalised groups. We hope to see these changes in the official legislative proposal.

 

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