Companies that use artificial intelligence in breach of EU rules could face fines

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BRUSSELS, 20 April- Companies that use artificial intelligence applications in violation of EU rules could face fines as much as 6% of their global turnover, up from a previously proposed 4%, according to a revised European Commission document that is due to be announced on Wednesday.

The AI rules could help the European Union in regulating a technology that critics say has negative social effects and can be used by authoritarian governments as a tool for social control, while supporters see it as an engine of economic growth.

The latest draft, first published by French online news publication Contexte and reviewed by Reuters, said that infringing companies can be fined up to 30 million euros or 6% of their worldwide revenue for using AI applications to exploit vulnerable people or using biased data in social scoring.

In the case of providing incorrect or misleading information to the authorities, fines up to 2% can be imposed.

The revised rules acknowledge the threat facial recognition poses to people's rights and freedom, but said that it can be used to search for missing children or criminals and in cases of terrorist attacks.

Its use should be restricted by a court or an independent administrative agency and authorised in time and space Civil and digital rights have urged authorities in recent months to ban facial recognition tools such as biometric mass surveillance, concerned about the risks to privacy and fundamental rights and their abuse by repressive regimes.

The draft rules, which are to be announced in the coming months with the EU countries and the European Parliament before they can go into effect, will be threshed out by European Technology Chief Margaret Vestige on Wednesday.

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