MEPs want a strong set of rights to protect consumers in the context of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making.
Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee approved recently a resolution addressing several challenges arising from the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) technologies.
Those systems should only use high-quality and unbiased data sets and “explainable and unbiased algorithms” in order to boost consumer trust and acceptance, states the resolution. Review structures should be set up to remedy possible mistakes in automated decisions. It should also be possible for consumers to seek human review of, and redress for, automated decisions that are final and permanent.
“Humans must always be ultimately responsible for, and able to overrule, decisions” that are taken via ADM processes, especially in relation to the medical, legal and accounting professions and the banking sector, MEPs underline.
AI-enabled products may evolve and act in ways not envisaged when they were first placed on the market. MEPs urge the Commission to table proposals adapting the EU’s safety rules for products (e.g. directives on machinery and toy safety) to ensure that consumers are protected from harm, manufacturers are clear on their obligations and users are informed about how to use those products.
The product Liability Directive, adopted over 30 years ago, would also need to be updated to adapt concepts such as ‘product’ ‘damage’ and ‘defect’ as well as rules governing the burden of proof, says the committee.
MEPs call for a risk-assessment scheme for AI and ADM and for a common EU approach to help secure the benefits of those processes and mitigate the risks across the EU.
Under EU law, traders must inform consumers when the price of goods or services has been personalised on the basis of ADM, MEPs recall, asking the Commission to closely monitor the implementation of those rules. It must also check how the EU regulation banning unjustified geo-blocking is applied to ensure that ADM is not being used to discriminate against consumers based on their nationality, place of residence or temporary location.
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