February 26, 2024

EU lawmakers have introduced new safeguards in the draft AI Act to protect fundamental rights in the context of AI, such as mandatory impact assessments and transparency duties for high-risk AI systems. However, there are major loopholes that weaken these protections, including exceptions for high-risk systems used in national security, law enforcement, and migration. The AI Act alone will not be enough to fully protect people and societies from the implications of AI systems on rights and democracy and much further-reaching obligations were advocated for. The deal also includes provisions regulating general purpose AI systems, but some important details still have to be agreed upon in the next weeks. Civil society organizations, like AlgorithmWatch, will continue to push for stronger fundamental rights protections as the technical drafts of the AI Act are developed. The final law text will have to be formally approved by the Parliament and the Council, and AlgorithmWatch will continue to pressure lawmakers to avoid further erosion of fundamental rights protections. For further inquiries, contact Matthias Spielkamp in Berlin and Angela Müller in Zurich.

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