“On the other hand, Mozilla’s Daniel Leufer called the plans “disappointingly, if predictably, weak on facial recognition/ ai-powered biometrics. It acknowledges that the biometric processing involved is illegal and poses a threat to fundamental rights, yet only calls for ‘broad European debate.’””
Quartz reached out to me for a comment on the EU’s new data strategy for this article:
The full comment from myself and my colleague Estelle Massé at Access Now is below:
“Contrary to what Commissioner Breton said, the EU did not lose the so-called battle on personal data. In building the digital single market and enabling sustainable free flow of data, the EU became a leader in the protection of personal data globally. The EU approach on data, so far, has put people and human rights protections first, that same approach should be at the core of the new strategies. Instead of calling for more data and more AI, we need better and more responsible use of technology where it can really benefit people.” said Estelle Massé, Senior Policy Analyst at Access Now.
“There is a dangerously naive belief that ‘more data and more AI is always better.’ Collecting data and using AI to analyse it is not a neutral process; it can create new potentials for abuse, discrimination and surveillance. We often hear that China and the US are leading the so-called AI race because they have more data, more investments, and more AI uptake, but they also have the most infamous cases of AI abuses. Is this really a race we want the EU to enter? There are enormous unresolved issues around data security, not to mention the huge environmental impact of increased data storage which is at odds with any talk of a European Green Deal.” said Daniel Leufer, Mozilla Fellow at Access Now.
“The priority of the EU for the single market should be that all companies, American or not, respect human rights, including by complying with our privacy and data protection laws,” added Estelle Massé.
Beyond what’s quoted here, I also discussed the fact that we can’t really have the ‘broad European debate’ on this technology unless we hold off on installing the infrastructure that enables it. If we’ve got local governments signing contracts to install FRT-enabled cameras, it’s going to be hard to have a debate where the option of not using FRT can be properly considered.
The video from our panel on the ‘Liquid AI’ (a.k.a. transnational governance of AI) is now online. Check out the contributions from Sjoera Nas, Adam Harvey, Kristina Irion and me, and the excellent moderating of Bodó Balázs.
Check out my new blog post for Mozilla on hype, myths and inaccuracies about AI. For the next 9 months, I’ll be working with experts to develop resources to challenge these narratives and myths. Let me know what myths need busting, and who to work with!