el reglamento por el cual la ue regula la inteligencia artificial.webp

Regulating AI: The European Union Case

February 6, 2024

Key takeaways


1. EU's Pioneering AI Regulation: The European Union sets a global standard with its comprehensive AI Act, prioritizing transparency, safety, and accountability in AI applications, ensuring ethical use and innovation balance.

2. Risk-Based AI Classification: The EU's AI Regulation introduces a risk-based framework, categorizing AI applications into unacceptable, high, or low risk, guiding the deployment and governance of AI technologies.

3. Biometric Recognition Under Scrutiny: The EU differentiates AI applications based on consent, with a special focus on biometric recognition, promoting user autonomy and data privacy in digital environments.

4. Didit's Role in Digital Identity: Amidst AI advancements, Didit emerges as a crucial tool in enhancing online privacy and authenticity, empowering users with self-sovereign identity and combating AI's potential misuses.

Technology and its advancements are always a few steps ahead of regulations. It's only when these developments become entrenched in society that the first regulations appear. Artificial Intelligence has been one of the latest examples. It's more of a revolution than an evolution, impacting virtually every level, both business and personal, highlighting the urgent need for legislation that allows individuals to defend against the many threats AI can pose, especially in the fields of security, privacy, and digital identity.

Spain was a pioneer in designing a regulatory framework to meet this demand. Through the Spanish Artificial Intelligence Supervision Agency (AESIA), the goal is to design a testing framework where this technology can develop its potential without becoming a danger to society.

Europe has also rushed to work on a regulatory framework. In mid-March 2024, the European Parliament plenary approved the Artificial Intelligence Act, setting guidelines for security and the protection of fundamental rights.

Different legislative frameworks aim to enhance the numerous benefits of Artificial Intelligence and minimize all the ethical concerns its use entails.

The Need for Regulation in the Age of AI

Was it necessary to regulate Artificial Intelligence? This technology has stormed into our daily lives, transforming how we interact in digital environments, with others, and with organizations or entities. AI has become an almost unstoppable engine of change aiding in task automation and complex data management.

Yet, not all uses are correct. AI can also be used to manipulate, discriminate, and even impersonate individuals. A severe issue that, without proper regulation, poses a risk to privacy, security, and citizens' freedom. In essence, it becomes a threat to individuals.

AI's Benefits and Risks for Society

Like any thorough analysis, it's essential to look beyond the surface. Scrutinizing AI's advantages and risks for society requires a similar approach. AI benefits many everyday aspects, thanks to various developments. However, where there's light, there can also be darkness, and where there's utility, problems can also arise.

The benefits are clear. Among them, Artificial Intelligence enhances efficiency through process automation, enables service personalization that can ultimately improve user experience and engagement, and bolsters process security, used in anomaly and cyberattack prevention.

Some clear issues also arise with this technology. From a personal security viewpoint, AI can contribute to individuals' privacy violations by collecting and using personal data; it facilitates identity impersonation with the creation of deepfakes, and ultimately, a loss of control over private information. It can also perpetuate biases and discrimination among society's minority groups.

The Debate on Regulation

While the above arguments offer a glimpse into this technology's potential and problems, should Artificial Intelligence be regulated? There are arguments at both ends of the spectrum. While some discuss security, privacy, and transparency, others believe regulation could limit development and innovation.

Regardless, it's necessary to find a balance between the two. While AI threats necessitate regulation to minimize risks and maximize benefits, it should allow for the technology's full development. In this regard, the European Union has established one of the first solid pillars concerning legislation.

The European Union's Artificial Intelligence Regulation

The European Parliament plenary approved the Artificial Intelligence Act on March 13, 2024. This regulation develops a legislative framework for AI use within member states, prioritizing safety, transparency, and accountability. Thus, emphasizing the point made earlier, it is believed that the full technological potential can be exploited ethically without sacrificing innovation.

This legislation classifies Artificial Intelligence based on the risk it poses to societal interests, creating a more just and effective development environment, free from the risk of repressive or discriminatory applications.

A solid and robust regulatory framework that defends individuals' fundamental rights and can serve as a model for other legislations.

Risk Levels in the Regulation

The classification of different AI applications is one of the main features of this regulation. The European Union recognizes three risk levels (unacceptable, high, or nonexistent), categorizing them accordingly:

  1. Unacceptable risk: Refers to systems that pose a direct threat to public safety. Their use is prohibited.
  2. High risk: Refers to AI applications that could significantly impact individuals' fundamental rights. Their use is allowed under controlled environments and constant oversight.
  3. Low or nonexistent risk: Refers to AI applications that don't fit into the other two categories, such as chatbots and generative AI systems, where the decision to use lies with the individuals.

How is Biometric Recognition Classified in the EU Regulation?

Biometrics also plays a significant role in this EU Regulation. The key question in defining the category it falls into is related to user consent and decision-making. Thus, if biometric recognition applications require individual consent, they are considered low risk.

In addition to voluntary decision-making, factors like the privacy of biometric vectors, information encryption, and the possibility of revocation contribute to the EU's approval of these biometric identification systems.

Conversely, Remote Biometric Identification systems are closely associated with mass surveillance and societal control, hence considered an unacceptable risk (the highest and most dangerous category) and their usage is strictly prohibited.

Other Legislative Approaches to AI

The European Union's AI Regulation aims to influence not only member states (like Spain, which was one of the first to comply thanks to AESIA) but also other international players. Various regions are also developing legislative frameworks for Artificial Intelligence, balancing innovation and ethics:

  • United Kingdom: Focuses on sector-specific regulation, allowing each industry to tailor AI rules to its specific needs, fostering innovation within ethical boundaries.
  • United States: Leans towards non-mandatory guidelines, promoting innovation while attempting to protect the public. Their approach emphasizes flexibility and adaptability to new technologies.
  • Brazil: Concentrates on specific legislation for AI, with a strong emphasis on transparency and accountability to ensure developments are accessible and comprehensible to everyone.
  • Canada: Develops national strategies that highlight human rights and ethics in AI, seeking to balance technological advancement with individual protection.

The Impact of AI Regulation on Digital Identity

AI regulation profoundly affects the security and management of digital identity, tackling everything from personal data protection to the enhancement of authentication and fraud detection mechanisms. For instance, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), aims to establish limits on the collection, use, and sharing of personal information, crucial for governing technological applications and mitigating risks associated with AI. These regulations address data privacy and introduce measures to combat discrimination and promote transparency and accountability in AI system usage.

Didit as a Response to the Growing AI Challenges

In the context of regulation and technological advancement, the significance of effective tools that safeguard individual privacy is evident. Solutions like Didit play a crucial role in making the internet more humane, combating the misuse of AI and phenomena like bots and deepfakes.

Didit strives to humanize the internet, redefining online interaction and providing a safer online environment. Through decentralized technology, Didit empowers users to have total control over their data, ensuring that in any digital interaction, it is possible to verify that behind every action is a real, authentic person consistent with their declared identity.

Join with a click the thousands of people already enjoying self-sovereign identity (SSI) and say goodbye to the problems associated with Artificial Intelligence forever.

create your own digital identity with didit

Share this post