European Parliament calls for ban on automated recognition in public spaces

In a non-binding resolution adopted on 6 October, the European Parliament (EP) has called for a ban on the use of automated analysis and/or recognition in publicly accessible spaces of human features such as gait, fingertips, DNA, voice, and other biometric and behavioural signals. The resolution also notes that the deployment of facial recognition systems by law enforcement should be limited to clearly warranted purposes, and in line with applicable law and the principles of proportionality and necessity. Moreover, MEPs call for a moratorium on the deployment of facial recognition systems for law enforcement purposes that have the function of identification, unless this is strictly used for identifying victims of crime. Such a moratorium would be in place until (a) the technical standards can be considered fully compliant with fundamental rights; (b) results derived are non-biased and non-discriminatory; (c) the legal framework provides strict safeguards against misuse and strict democratic control and oversight; and (d) and there is empirical evidence of the necessity and proportionality for the deployment of such technologies. The Parliament further calls for the use of private facial recognition databases (like the Clearview AI system) and predictive policing based on behavioural data to be forbidden. It also advocates for a ban on artificial intelligence-enabled mass scale scoring of individuals, noting that such practices lead to loss of autonomy, endanger the principle of non-discrimination, and cannot be considered in line with fundamental rights.