EU AI Act – Recitals Page 02


(11) In light of their digital nature, certain AI systems should fall within the scope of this Regulation even when they are neither placed on the market, nor put into service, nor used in the Union. This is the case for example of an operator established in the Union that contracts certain services to an operator established outside the Union in relation to an activity to be performed by an AI system that would qualify as high-risk and whose effects impact natural persons located in the Union. In those circumstances, the AI system used by the operator outside the Union could process data lawfully collected in and transferred from the Union, and provide to the contracting operator in the Union the output of that AI system resulting from that processing, without that AI system being placed on the market, put into service or used in the Union. To prevent the circumvention of this Regulation and to ensure an effective protection of natural persons located in the Union, this Regulation should also apply to providers and users deployers of AI systems that are established in a third country, to the extent the output produced by those systems is intended to be used in the Union. Nonetheless, to take into account existing arrangements and special needs for cooperation with foreign partners with whom information and evidence is exchanged, this Regulation should not apply to public authorities of a third country and international organisations when acting in the framework of international agreements concluded at national or European level for law enforcement and judicial cooperation with the Union or with its Member States. Such agreements have been concluded bilaterally between Member States and third countries or between the European Union, Europol and other EU agencies and third countries and international organisations. This exception should nevertheless be limited to trusted countries and international organisation that share Union values.

(12) This Regulation should also apply to Union institutions, offices, bodies and agencies when acting as a provider or deployer of an AI system. AI systems exclusively developed or used for military purposes should be excluded from the scope of this Regulation where that use falls under the exclusive remit of the Common Foreign and Security Policy regulated under Title V of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU). This Regulation should be without prejudice to the provisions regarding the liability of intermediary service providers set out in Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [as amended by the Digital Services Act].

(12a) Software and data that are openly shared and where users can freely access, use, modify and redistribute them or modified versions thereof, can contribute to research and innovation in the market. Research by the Commission also shows that free and open-source software can contribute between EUR 65 billion to EUR 95 billion to the European Union’s GDP and that it can provide significant growth opportunities for the European economy. Users are allowed to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve software and data, including models by way of free and open-source licences. To foster the development and deployment of AI, especially by SMEs, start-ups, academic research but also by individuals, this Regulation should not apply to such free and open-source AI components except to the extent that they are placed on the market or put into service by a provider as part of a high-risk AI system or of an AI system that falls under Title II or IV of this Regulation.

(12b) Neither the collaborative development of free and open-source AIcomponents nor making them available on open repositories should constitute a placing on the market or putting into service. A commercial activity, within the understanding of making available on the market, might however be characterised by charging a price, with the exception of transactions between micro enterprises, for a free and open-source AI component but also by charging a price for technical support services, by providing a software platform through which the provider monetises other services, or by the use of personal data for reasons other than exclusively for improving the security, compatibility or interoperability of the software.

(12c) The developers of free and opensource AI components should not be mandated under this Regulation to comply with requirements targeting the AI value chain and, in particular, not towards the provider that has used that free and open-source AI component. Developers of free and open-source AI components should however be encouraged to implement widely adopted documentation practices, such as model and data cards, as a way to accelerate information sharing along the AI value chain, allowing the promotion of trustworthy AI systems in the Union.

(13) In order to ensure a consistent and high level of protection of public interests as regards health, safety and fundamental rights as well as democracy and rule of law and the environment, common normative standards for all high-risk AI systems should be established. Those standards should be consistent with the Charter of the European Green Deal, the Joint Declaration on Digital Rights of the Union and the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) of the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, and should be non-discriminatory and in line with the Union’s international trade commitments.

(14) In order to introduce a proportionate and effective set of binding rules for AI systems, a clearly defined risk-based approach should be followed. That approach should tailor the type and content of such rules to the intensity and scope of the risks that AI systems can generate. It is therefore necessary to prohibit certain unacceptable artificial intelligence practices, to lay down requirements for high-risk AI systems and obligations for the relevant operators, and to lay down transparency obligations for certain AI systems.

(15) Aside from the many beneficial uses of artificial intelligence, that technology can also be misused and provide novel and powerful tools for manipulative, exploitative and social control practices. Such practices are particularly harmful and abusive and should be prohibited because they contradict Union values of respect for human dignity, freedom, equality, democracy and the rule of law and Union fundamental rights, including the right to non-discrimination, data protection and privacy and the rights of the child.

(16) The placing on the market, putting into service or use of certain AI systems with the objective to or the effect of materially distorting human behaviour, whereby physical or psychological harms are likely to occur, should be forbidden. This limitation should be understood to include neuro-technologies assisted by AI systems that are used to monitor, use, or influence neural data gathered through brain-computer interfaces insofar as they are materially distorting the behaviour of a natural person in a manner that causes or is likely to cause that person or another person significant harm. Such AI systems deploy subliminal components individuals cannot perceive or exploit vulnerabilities of with the objective to or the effect of materially distorting due to their known or predicted personality traits, age, physical or mental incapacities, social or economic situation. They do so with the intention to or the effect of materially distorting the behaviour of a person and in a manner that causes or is likely to cause significant harm to that or another person or groups of persons, including harms that may be accumulated over time. The intention to distort the behaviour may not be presumed if the distortion of human behaviour results from factors external to the AI system which are outside of the control of the provider or the user such as factors that may not be reasonably foreseen and mitigated by the provider or the deployer of the AI system. In any case, it is not necessary for the provider or the deployer to have the intention to cause the significant harm, as long as such harm results from the manipulative or exploitative AI-enabled practices. The prohibitions for such AI practices is complementary to the provisions contained in Directive 2005/29/EC, according to which unfair commercial practices are prohibited, irrespective of whether they carried out having recourse to AI systems or otherwise. In such setting, lawful commercial practices, for example in the field of advertising, that are in compliance with Union law should not in themselves be regarded as violating prohibition. Research for legitimate purposes in relation to such AI systems should not be stifled by the prohibition, if such research does not amount to use of the AI system in human-machine relations that exposes natural persons to harm and such research is carried out in accordance with recognised ethical standards for scientific research and on the basis of specific informed consent of the individuals that are exposed to them or, where applicable, of their legal guardian.

(16a) AI systems that categorise natural persons by assigning them to specific categories, according to known or inferred sensitive or protected characteristics are particularly intrusive, violate human dignity and hold great risk of discrimination. Such characteristics include gender, gender identity, race, ethnic origin, migration or citizenship status, political orientation, sexual orientation, religion, disability or any other grounds on which discrimination is prohibited under Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as under Article 9 of Regulation (EU)2016/769. Such systems should therefore be prohibited.

(17) AI systems providing social scoring of natural persons for general purpose by public authorities or on their behalf may lead to discriminatory outcomes and the exclusion of certain groups. They may violate the right to dignity and non-discrimination and the values of equality and justice. Such AI systems evaluate or classify natural persons or groups based on multiple data points and time occurrences related to their social behaviour in multiple contexts or known, inferred or predicted personal or personality characteristics. The social score obtained from such AI systems may lead to the detrimental or unfavourable treatment of natural persons or whole groups thereof in social contexts, which are unrelated to the context in which the data was originally generated or collected or to a detrimental treatment that is disproportionate or unjustified to the gravity of their social behaviour. Such AI systems should be therefore prohibited.

(18) The use of AI systems for ‘real-time’ remote biometric identification of natural persons in publicly accessible spaces is particularly intrusive to the rights and freedoms of the concerned persons, and can ultimately affect the private life of a large part of the population, evoke a feeling of constant surveillance, give parties deploying biometric identification in publicly accessible spaces a position of uncontrollable power and indirectly dissuade the exercise of the freedom of assembly and other fundamental rights at the core to the Rule of Law. Technical inaccuracies of AI systems intended for the remote biometric identification of natural persons can lead to biased results and entail discriminatory effects. This is particularly relevant when it comes to age, ethnicity, sex or disabilities. In addition, the immediacy of the impact and the limited opportunities for further checks or corrections in relation to the use of such systems operating in ‘real-time’ carry heightened risks for the rights and freedoms of the persons that are concerned by law enforcement activities. The use of those systems in publicly accessible places should therefore be prohibited. Similarly, AI systems used for the analysis of recorded footage of publicly accessible spaces through ‘post’ remote biometric identification systems should also be prohibited, unless there is pre-judicial authorisation for use in the context of law enforcement, when strictly necessary for the targeted search connected to a specific serious criminal offense that already took place, and only subject to a pre-judicial authorisation.

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