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EU: EPRS publishes study on biometrics and AI, with recommendations for draft AI Regulation

The European Parliament Research Service ('EPRS') published, on 16 December 2021, a study entitled 'Person identification, human rights and ethical principles: Rethinking biometrics in the era of artificial intelligence'. In particular, the study explores biometrics in the era of artificial intelligence ('AI'), focusing on the connections between person identification, human rights, and ethical principles. Notably, the study reviews key related concepts introduced by the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation on Laying Down Harmonised Rules on Artificial Intelligence ('the Draft AI Regulation'), including 'remote biometric identification', 'biometric categorisation', and 'emotion recognition', identifying gaps in the Draft AI Regulation's approach to these concepts and aiming to frame them in the context of broader regulatory discussions.

More specifically, the study recommends pursuing the following policy options through the Draft AI Regulation:

  • better delimit the regulation of biometrics and biometric data;
  • improve the future qualification of new AI systems as high-risk;
  • explicitly ban certain uses of live facial recognition;
  • regulate 'post' remote biometric identification in the same manner as 'real-time' remote biometric identification;
  • establish at EU level the necessary safeguards for real-time remote biometric identification;
  • ban AI systems assigning to categories that constitute sensitive data based on biometric data;
  • clarify the regulation of 'emotion recognition';
  • increase transparency towards individuals as a necessary means to guarantee rights and remedies; and
  • do not allow for special exemptions to general rules for EU large-scale databases.

You can read the study here.