Civil society calls on EU to ban predictive AI in policing and criminal justice

Over 40 civil society groups have issued a statement calling on EU institutions and member states to include provisions in the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) to prohibit predictive and profiling AI systems in law enforcement and criminal justice. The organisations argue that such AI systems reproduce and reinforce discrimination – on grounds such as ethnic original, socio-economic status, disability, migration status and nationality – and endanger fundamental rights including the right to a free trial and the pressumption of innocence, the right to private and family life, and data protection rights. Moreover, AI systems used to influence, inform, and assist law enforcement and criminal justice decisions through predictions, profiles, and risk assessments are said to often have technological or commercial barriers that prevent effective and meaningful scrutiny, transparency, and accountability. For these and similar reasons – civil society argues – such systems represent unacceptable risks and should be included in the ‘prohibited AI practice’ concept outlined in Article 5 of the proposed AI Act.