With the European Union’s AI proposal set to launch this quarter, Europe has the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that true innovation can arise only when we can be confident that everyone will be protected from the most harmful, egregious violations of our fundamental rights. Europe’s industries – from AI developers to car manufacturing companies – will benefit greatly from the regulatory certainty that comes from clear legal limits and an even playing field for fair competition.
Civil society across Europe – and the world – have pointed out the urgent need for regulatory limits on deployments of artificial intelligence that restrict human rights. UNI Europa has raised the issue in its position paper addressing in particular the impact of AI at the workplace.
It is vital that the upcoming regulatory proposal unequivocally addresses the enabling of biometric mass surveillance; monitoring of public spaces; exacerbating structural discrimination, exclusion and collective harms; impeding access to vital services such as health-care and social security. Legislation on AI must ensure there is fair access to justice and procedural rights, and it must address the use of AI systems which interfere with or predict about our behaviours and thoughts. It is crucial that we establish a legislative framework providing red lines regarding the manipulation or control of human behaviour and associated threats to human dignity, agency, and collective democracy.
Read the open letter co-signed by UNI Europa and shared by European Digital Rights together with 60 civil society organisations here.