Europe and facial recognition

Europe wants to do something about facial recognition, but it is not clear what to do or how to do it. And that is not surprising, because it is a very complex subject.

The problem is that as long as nothing is regulated, companies (most multinationals) are at ease and develop applications that try to sell with the sole interest of making a profit, for them the safety and privacy of the people analyzed is not a priority.

The “institutions” are very slow to regulate, and the European ones are in a special way. Perhaps partly because of this there are so few European technology companies.

I am in favor of doing things by steps, rather than waiting too long to make a determination. I believe that the best is the enemy of the good.

At the moment in Europe, general considerations have been issued defending privacy and freedom, and expressing that AI must be regulated to be ethical. I agree but they could have generated a first document specifying those stratagems.

And as soon as the European authorities have made these considerations, opinions have appeared for all tastes, both positively and negatively.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who consider themselves to be “authorized experts” to make value judgments about the intentions of others. But we must bear in mind that there are many interests at stake, and there is a lot of money involved.

I have confidence in the European authorities, just as they did with their GDPR standard for the protection of user data, and I am sure they will do something similar with facial recognition.

But they should do it much faster.

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Amador Palacios

I am an electronic engineer with more than 40 years working in industry. I like to reflect on Technological and Social issues