Parliament calls for greater consumer protection
Today (Weds. 12 Feb.), Members of the European Parliament have just voted for greater consumer protection and oversight of decisions made by artificial intelligence systems, in the resolution "Automated decision-making processes: Ensuring consumer protection and the free movement of goods and services". MEPs are calling for clear information on personalised pricing, the review and correction of automated decisions, transparent algorithms and the use of high quality, non-discriminatory data sets. MEPs followed the Green/EFA group's initiative to strengthen consumer rights when automated decisions, for example in price offers on the internet or during credit checks, discriminate against people on the basis of gender or origin.
The European Commission's proposal for a strategy on artificial intelligence is expected on 19 February (Wednesday).
Alexandra Geese MEP, IMCO Member of the Greens/EFA Group and initiator of the resolution on artificial intelligence, comments:
"The European Parliament is sending a strong signal for more control and consumer protection in artificial intelligence. It is a huge success for the Greens/EFA group that we were able to win a majority for strong rights against discrimination. We must prevent artificial intelligence from discriminating against people just because they belong to a particular demographic. Discrimination against people that belong to a particular demographic must not be allowed to continue in automated decisions."
Petra de Stutter MEP, Greens/EFA chair of the IMCO committee and rapporteur on the file, comments:
"AI can be a technology to help people in the future, providing it is transparent, supervised by humans, abides by the law and when regulated under a risk based approach. Ensuring these high standards in Europe will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises. Unfortunately, the Socialist, Renew and EPP groups have blocked the inclusion of sustainability and climate protection goals in the AI strategy. The EU Commission should include the assessment of environmental impact and energy consumption in its strategy."