France does not want to block the use of AI by law enforcement

The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union has presented a set of modifications for the Artificial Intelligent Act, the future regulation governing artificial intelligence, reports Euroactiv in an article published on April 5. They focus in particular on the use of this technology by the police. France’s objective seems to be not to block this use.

The repressive aspect of the legislation is a major sticking point in the discussions, to the point where Germany and Finland are asking to separate these devices in another text.

Exclude Identity Verifications
First, the French negotiators want to exclude identity checks and checks to access an airport, for example, so that these technologies are not subject to too strict obligations. Indeed, as a reminder, European legislation classifies the different AI systems according to their risk. If few restrictions apply to systems whose use is not likely to cause significant risks, conversely, several types of use are expressly prohibited and regulation is put in place for systems whose use presents a high risk.

They also want to broaden the cases in which biometric recognition can be used, removing the specific example of missing children and the character reference”imminent” of the threat. In addition, the guarantee of the security of the physical infrastructures has been added.

Changes have also been made to the ability to use AI to locate a suspect as part of a police investigation. Originally, it was authorized when the criminal offense fell within the scope of a European arrest warrant. France wishes to replace this condition by “any criminal offense that may result in a period of detention of at least five years“.

Establish an ex-post authorization
In the original version, the Commission introduced prior authorization for each use for law enforcement purposes. In an emergency”duly justified“, the use can begin without authorization. France wishes to add a new article establishing “a request for ex-post authorization for the police in order to [leur] provide more flexibility“. In this case, it must be done “without excessive delay“.

The Brussels executive also provided for the possibility of challenging the authorization within two weeks. This faculty must be abolished, according to the French representatives. They also want to ensure that post-market surveillance of a high-risk AI system does not affect the confidentiality of law enforcement authorities in the conduct of their investigations.

They further reworded the article relating to the market surveillance authority in charge of supervising the application of AI systems by the police services “to indicate that data protection authorities do not necessarily have to be the first choice in this regard“.

To be included in the final version of the regulation, these provisions will have to receive the approval of the other European institutions.

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France does not want to block the use of AI by law enforcement

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