- The European Commission has reportedly backed away from its initial suggestion of a five-year moratorium on facial recognition which was meant to allow an in-depth study of the technology’s potential impact.
- Instead, individual member states will be encouraged to set their own facial recognition rules, which could involve independent groups assessing each proposed public use of the technology.
Analysis and Comments
- This is perhaps not a surprising turn in tack given an earlier paper end of last year warned of the ban’s potential to stifle innovation in the sector and delay an uptake of the technology.
- The debate is shaping up to be highly divisive, with the suggestion of the ban highly popular among civil right campaigners and the security community unsurprisingly among the main proponents of the technology.
- a “case-by-case” approach sounds like a viable compromise between the two extreme options of a five-year moratorium and more immediate/widespread endorsement.
- Interestingly, the technology was approved for live settings by London’s Metropolitan police last month following multiple challenges in UK courts – while selected US cities have imposed time-limited bands on their city departments (including police) using the technology.
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