Often, and even more so since the pandemic, many governments and big businesses cheer and promote the fast development and use of emerging technologies and AI as the solution for societal problems. It is promoted to be efficient and effective in every aspect of our lives, such as health care, education, judicial system, public governance but also activism. Digital technology has indeed already transformed the way we exercise our human rights and civic freedoms as it has become an indispensable tool for meetings, protest, participation or online campaigns. But at what cost? Who is safeguarding us from harms?
Various algorithm-based mechanisms are used in different ways to influence our lives: e.g., by governments in decision-making on whether to retain benefits, the use of facial recognition technology by both private and public sector for security policies or the collection and processing of personal data pulled from our social media platforms To avoid that such measures suppress the right to protest, privacy and free expression, they should be developed in transparent way and with meaningful participation of civil society.
In this session, European Center for Not-for-profit Law Stichting (ECNL) will address how AI and emerging technologies can impact our human and civic rights by highlighting concrete international and national examples, what important safeguards are missing in current legislation and policies on AI development and deployment, which current and upcoming (EU and international) legislative and policy efforts are important, how to translate those into the Dutch context and how ECNL’s work is pushing for more safeguards and inclusion of civil society and the public in the AI debate.