GOVERNING & PUBLIC SECTOR DEMOCRACY & CIVIL RIGHTS POLICING SURVEILLANCE EUROPE

Sci-fi surveillance: Europe’s secretive push into biometric technology

EU science funding is being spent on developing new tools for policing and security. But who decides how far we need to submit to artificial intelligence?

Patrick Breyer didn’t expect to have to take the European commission to court. The softly spoken German MEP was startled when in July 2019 he read about a new technology to detect from facial “micro-expressions” when somebody is lying while answering questions.

Even more startling was that the EU was funding research into this virtual mindreader through a project called iBorderCtrl, for potential use in policing Europe’s borders. In the article that Breyer read, a reporter described taking a test on the border between Serbia and Hungary. She told the truth, but the AI border guard said she had lied.

This article was supported by a grant from JournalismFund.eu, with additional support from the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) Fund.

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