Sweden wants to allow police to use facial recognition technology

STOCKHOLM The Swedish government announced on June 3 that they wanted to allow law enforcement to use facial recognition technology in real time from cameras placed in public areas, such as to identify suspects of certain crimes.

The announcement follows the adoption of rules by the European Union in March to govern the use artificial intelligence, which prohibited real-time face recognition in public places but allowed for some exceptions in law enforcement.

The Swedish government has ordered an investigation into the expanded powers of law enforcement agencies to use cameras surveillance, including facial recognition technology.

Justice Minister Gunnar strommer said at a press briefing that the findings of the investigation, which were delivered to the government on Monday, aimed to give the “insights” necessary to “considerably advance” in the use cameras to fight crime.

Kazimir Aberg who led the inquiry said, “Facial Recognition in Real Time in Public Places should be permitted for Crime-fighting Purposes to the extent allowed by the EU’s AI Regulation.”

EU exceptions include the search for missing persons or suspected victims of trafficking in human beings, or preventing immediate threats such as terrorist attacks.

The technology can also be used to locate individuals suspected of certain criminal offenses.

Aberg said that police should only be allowed to use this technology for crimes punishable by at least four years in prison, and after a court has given permission.

Aberg added that the technology should only be used for specific investigations, and not as a preventive measure.

Strommer, the minister of the Interior, said that the proposal was welcomed by the government. He also stated that he thought the inquiry had adequately addressed the balance needed between the integrity concerns and the effectiveness in fighting crime.

He said that the government will begin to work on the plan’s details, but no date for implementation was given.

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