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This article was published on October 6, 2021

EU Parliament calls for ban on predictive policing

MEPs also want to prohibit facial recognition

EU Parliament calls for ban on predictive policing

The European Parliament has called for bans on predictive policing and biometric mass surveillance.

In a resolution adopted on Tuesday, MEPs also voted to prohibit social scoring systems, the use of AI in judicial decisions, and private facial recognition databases — like the ClearviewAI system.

A majority of lawmakers (377 to 248) backed the wide-ranging resolution on the use of AI in criminal law and policing.

Bulgarian MEP Petar Vitanov, the resolution’s author, called the vote “a huge win” for European citizens:

For the first time ever, we are calling for a moratorium on the deployment of facial recognition systems for law enforcement purposes, as the technology has proven to be ineffective and often leads to discriminatory results. We are clearly opposed to predictive policing based on the use of AI as well as any processing of biometric data that leads to mass surveillance.

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The risks of these systems have already been exposed. A predictive policing system used in the Netherlands, for example, was found to specifically target people of Eastern European origin.

While the resolution is non-binding, the vote could be a strong indicator of what MEPs want from the EU’s highly-anticipated AI Act.

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