The European Parliament members endorsed a blanket ban on AI-powered facial recognition in public spaces on Wednesday, June 14th.
According to Euronews reports, lawmakers pushed forward with the sweeping prohibition, rejecting an amendment that could have allowed law enforcement to use real-time biometric identification in exceptional cases.
The total ban is part of a draft piece of legislation known as the Artificial Intelligence Act that aims to ensure the development of human-centric, ethically responsible and environmentally sustainable AI systems across Europe. The AI Act, first presented in April 2021 by the European Commission, has a pyramid-like structure that splits AI-powered systems into four categories according to the potential risk they pose to society: minimal, limited, high and unacceptable.
There has yet to be a trialogue between the European Parliament and member states to negotiate the regulation, considered a world-first attempt to rein in AI’s excesses.
Brussels hopes to wrap up the AI Act before the end of the year.