The European Union says it is considering placing a ban on facial recognition for five years.
The new development comes after a campaign by politicians and privacy campaigners called for an end to the facial recognition technology. Privacy campaigners argue that the technology is inaccurate and invades on people’s privacy.
A recent survey reveals that the technology has problems identifying black and Asian faces compared to white faces. For instance, there could be a case where you are identifying innocent individuals who are from a particular minority. This means they would be questioned or falsely accused and may even have their details and pictures captured on record because the systems do not have adequate training with diverse datasets of people from different demographics.
The technology allows faces to be captured on CCTV against watch list often compile by the police.
However, makers of the technology say that the facial recognition system can hep curb crime and protect the public against terror suspects.
Meanwhile China remains the country with the highest use of facial recognition system. The government has begun rolling out facial recognition in pharmacies to monitor people buying certain drugs. People buying drugs containing psychotropic substances will now have to verify their identity by scanning their faces to prevent an abuse of such substance.
Regulators say they are acting to prevent an abuse, although, there will be exceptions for security projects and for research and development purpose.
In an 18-page document, the commission has outlined its plans to suggest new rules that would support or strengthen existing privacy and data rights. The new rules will impose obligations on both creators and users of artificial intelligence.
The proposal also includes urging EU countries to create a separate entity to monito the new rules and for the police in the UK to stop using live facial recognition for public surveillance.
In September last year, the King Cross estate was at the middle of the controversy, when it revealed that the owners made use of facial recognition technology without notifying the public.
The use of facial recognition for mobile phones became mandatory in China for people registering new SIM cards. The government says it’s a measure to protect the rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace and a way to easily track fraudsters.
While the West continues to kick against facial recognition system, China remains the biggest supporter of the technology.