European Union offers strategy for artificial intelligence, facial recognition

Joanna Estrada
February 21, 2020

The EU hopes that as a result, more than one Europe-based company will emerge to challenge the American tech and data giants.

The two main figures in the European Commission that are criticizing the USA tech giants, European digital and antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and European industry chief Thierry Breton, will present their proposals around noon today.

The white paper on AI is accompanied by the European strategy for data, which sets out a number of policy measures created to help the EU "become a leading role model for a society empowered by data to make better decisions - in business and the public sector". He did not give details of how the platform would work. The EU says it wants to create a single European data market for data which will allow unused data to flow freely within the EU.

The AI roadmap outlined on Wednesday will form the start of a process towards legislation with draft laws expected by the end of the year.

The Commission's goal is to create a single European data space - "a genuine single market for data, open to data from across the world - where personal as well as non-personal data, including sensitive business data, are secure and businesses also have easy access to an nearly infinite amount of high-quality industrial data, boosting growth and creating value, while minimising the human carbon and environmental footprint".

Different parts in the Fee's proposals embody new rules protecting cross-border knowledge use, knowledge interoperability and requirements for manufacturing, local weather change, the auto business, healthcare, monetary providers, agriculture and vitality.

On environmental sustainability, the Commission expects data centres and telecommunications technology to become more energy efficient, use more renewable sources and become climate neutral by 2030. "It is the platforms that need to adapt to Europe", said Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market.

"We want the digital transformation to power our economy and we want to find European solutions in the digital age", said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. In addition, the European Union said it is willing to review what exceptions, if any, may be justified to current rules that mostly ban facial recognition as a form of biometric identification. The Commission has previously mulled a ban, but dropped the idea.

Telecoms lobbying groups ETNO and GSMA and the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT), which have pushed for tech rivals to be subjected to the same stringent rules as they are, welcomed the Commission's proposals.

They also warned that even more regulation for foreign tech companies is in store with the upcoming "Digital Services Act", a sweeping overhaul of how the bloc treats digital companies, including potentially holding them liable for illegal content posted on their platforms.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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