European Commission proposes directive on civil liability rules for AI

The European Commission introduces a directive proposing uniform civil liability rules for AI-related damages to aid victims and advance the sector. It aims to simplify compensation procedures, especially in cases of discrimination, by establishing a presumption of causality and granting access to evidence from companies or suppliers.

The European Commission has published a proposal for a directive that would establish pan-EU rules for certain aspects of non-contractual civil liability for damage caused with the involvement of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. According to the Commission, the directive will ‘lay down uniform rules for access to information and alleviation of the burden of proof in relation to damages caused by AI systems, establishing broader protection for victims (be it individuals or businesses), and fostering the AI sector by increasing guarantees. […] The new rules will, for instance, make it easier to obtain compensation if someone has been discriminated in a recruitment process involving AI technology.’
The proposed directive is meant to ensure that victims of harm caused by AI systems can access reparation in the same manner as if they were harmed under any other circumstances. To this aim, two measures would be introduced: (a) the ‘presumption of causality’, which will relieve victims from having to explain in detail how the damage was caused by a certain fault or omission; and (b) the access to evidence from companies or suppliers, when dealing with high-risk AI.