German Coalition Backs Ban on Facial Recognition in Public Places

Germany's incoming government is throwing its weight behind a ban on the use of biometric identification technologies such as facial recognition in public places. From a report: According to their coalition deal, the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP) want to "exclude" biometric recognition in public spaces as well as automated state scoring systems by AI through European law. "Biometric recognition in public spaces as well as automated state scoring systems by AI are to be excluded under European law," reads the coalition agreement, presented on Wednesday. The EU's Artificial Intelligence Act, proposed in April, creates product safety rules for "high risk" AI that is likely to cause harm to humans. It also bans certain "unacceptable" AI uses, such as social scoring and restricts the use of remote biometric identification in public places from law enforcement, unless it is to fight serious crime, such as terrorism. The AI Act's prohibitions are some of the bill's most contentious articles, and many European countries have yet to decide what they think. Germany's support of a ban could rally other countries to the same view. Belgium and Slovakia have already expressed their support.

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