Reintroduction of facial recognition legislation receives mixed responses

The reintroduction of the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act in the 117th Congress has received mixed responses.

An initial version of the legislation was introduced in 2020 but was reintroduced June 15 2021 by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)

“We do not have to forgo privacy and justice for safety,” said Senator Markey. “This legislation is about rooting out systemic racism and stopping invasive technologies from becoming irreversibly embedded...

Amazon will continue to ban police from using its facial recognition AI

Amazon will extend a ban it enacted last year on the use of its facial recognition for law enforcement purposes.

The web giant’s Rekognition service is one of the most powerful facial recognition tools available. Last year, Amazon signed a one-year moratorium that banned its use by police departments following a string of cases where facial recognition services – from various providers – were found to be inaccurate and/or misused by law enforcement.

Amazon has now...

White House launches AI website to provide official initiative updates

The White House has launched a website to provide official updates about the US government’s National AI Initiative.

On January 1, 2021, the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 (PDF) became law. The act mandates a coordinated effort across the federal government to accelerate the research, and adoption, of AI technologies.

The new AI.gov website provides a central resource for the public to learn how artificial intelligence is being used across the US to help tackle...

ACLU joins over 50 groups in calling for Homeland Security to halt use of Clearview AI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined over 50 other rights and advocacy groups in calling for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt the use of Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition system.

In a letter (PDF) addressed to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the signatories wrote: “The undersigned organizations have serious concerns about the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology provided by private company Clearview AI. We...

EU regulation sets fines of €20M or up to 4% of turnover for AI misuse

A leaked draft of EU regulation around the use of AI sets hefty fines of up to €20 million or four percent of global turnover (whichever is greater.)

The regulation (PDF) was first reported by Politico and is expected to be announced next week on April 21st.

In the draft, the legislation’s authors wrote:

“Some of the uses and applications of artificial intelligence may generate risks and cause harm to interests and rights that are protected by Union law....

TUC: Employment law gaps will lead to staff ‘hired and fired by algorithm’

Legal experts and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have warned that gaps in employment law will lead to staff “hired and fired by algorithm”.

A report, commissioned by the TUC and carried out by leading employment rights lawyers Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters from the AI Law Consultancy, claims there are “huge gaps” in British law.

“The TUC is right to call for urgent legislative changes to ensure that workers and companies can both enjoy the benefits of AI,”...

CDEI: Public believes tech isn’t being fully utilised to tackle pandemic, greater use depends on governance trust

Research from the UK government’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has found the public believes technology isn’t being fully utilised to tackle the pandemic, but greater use requires trust in how it is governed.

CDEI advises the government on the responsible use of AI and data-driven technologies. Between June and December 2020, the advisory body polled over 12,000 people to gauge sentiment around how such technologies are being used.

Edwina Dunn, Deputy...

British intelligence agency GCHQ publishes ‘Ethics of AI’ report

The intelligence agency’s first-ever public report details how AI can be used “ethically” for cyber operations.

GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) is tasked with providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom and its allies.

Jeremy Fleming, Director of GCHQ, said:

“We need honest, mature conversations about the impact that new technologies could have on society.

This...

EU human rights agency issues report on AI ethical considerations

The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has issued a report on AI which delves into the ethical considerations which must be made about the technology.

FRA’s report is titled Getting The Future Right and opens with some of the ways AI is already making lives better—such as helping with cancer diagnosis, and even predicting where burglaries are likely to take place.

“The possibilities seem endless,” writes Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the FRA,...

CDEI launches a ‘roadmap’ for tackling algorithmic bias

A review from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has led to the creation of a “roadmap” for tackling algorithmic bias.

The analysis was commissioned by the UK government in October 2018 and will receive a formal response.

Algorithms bring substantial benefits to businesses and individuals able to use them effectively. However, increasing evidence suggests biases are – often unconsciously – making their way into algorithms and creating an uneven...