Responding to EU lawmakers’ reluctance to ban the export of harmful and rights-violating Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies from the EU in the AI Act, Mher Hakobyan, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Advisor on Artificial Intelligence, said:
“While lawmakers are engaged in tense discussions on prohibiting or strictly limiting the use of certain AI technologies in the EU over their unacceptable human rights risk, they are seemingly ready to allow the export of those same technologies from the EU to the rest of the world.
Companies based in EU countries have been known to provide rights-violating technologies to governments who use them to target and oppress marginalized communities.Mher Hakobyan, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Advisor on Artificial Intelligence
“This demonstrates a flagrant double-standard on the part of EU lawmakers, who on one hand present the EU as a global leader in promoting ‘secure, trustworthy and ethical Artificial Intelligence’ and on the other hand refuse to stop EU companies selling rights-violating AI systems to the rest of the world.
“It is high time that EU lawmakers demonstrated their true commitment to human rights by banning facial and emotion recognition systems, predictive policing, social scoring, and other technologies incompatible with human rights in the EU.
“Companies based in EU countries have been known to provide rights-violating technologies to governments who use them to target and oppress marginalized communities.
“Digital surveillance systems produced by companies based in France, Sweden and the Netherlands have been used in China’s mass surveillance programs targeting Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the country. Cameras made by a Dutch company have also been used by police in occupied East Jerusalem to maintain Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.”
Amnesty International, as part of a coalition of civil society organizations led by the European Digital Rights Network (EDRi), has been calling for the EU to adopt artificial intelligence regulation that protects and promotes human rights, including the rights of people on the move.