Framing the picture: a human rights-based study on AI, the case of facial recognition technology

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Levantino, Paolo Francesco
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From science-fiction novels and dystopian literary scenarios, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a distinguishing feature of our times. AI-based technologies have the potential to decrease the mortality caused by car accidents or serious diseases, and the detrimental effects of climate change. Yet, all that glisters is not gold. We live surrounded by security cameras, unconsciously caught by the lens of private smartphones, dashcams integrated into vehicles, and regularly overflow by drones and orbiting satellites. Among these various forms of surveillance, Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) plays a central role. The present thesis aims at investigating, analysing and discussing several threats FRT can pose to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. To do so, its uses by law enforcement authorities will be “framed” adopting the European human rights law framework. This research will unveil that the risks connected to the deployment of FRT are increased when advocated for the pursuit of “public security”. Based on the performed analysis, it can be concluded that, whilst proper regulations would mitigate the adverse effects generated by FRT, the general public should be more sensitive to data protection and privacy issues in order to enable an environment for “human flourishing”.
Second semester University: KU Leuven
technological innovations, artificial intelligence, recognition, human rights, democracy, rule of law, data protection, right to privacy, surveillance, security, social justice