Procedure : 2019/2915(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000008/2020

Texts tabled :

O-000008/2020 (B9-0007/2020)

Debates :

PV 10/02/2020 - 12
CRE 10/02/2020 - 12

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
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23 January 2020
Question for oral answer  O-000008/2020
to the Commission
Rule 136
Petra De Sutter
on behalf of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 Answer in plenary 
 Subject: Automated decision-making processes: ensuring consumer protection and the free movement of goods and services

We are witnessing a rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and automated decision making. The applications, opportunities and challenges ahead are numerous and encompass virtually all sectors of the internal market.

They offer great potential in terms of innovative and higher-quality products and services, but various challenges also need to be addressed for this potential to be fully realised:

1. consumer choice, trust and welfare must be guaranteed. Services and goods using AI and automated decision making bring with them the risk of consumers being misled, discriminated against or even harmed, for example in relation to differentiated pricing or automated professional services carried out without human oversight by highly skilled professionals.

2. existing EU product safety and liability frameworks may need to be adapted to cover new AI-enabled products and services, in order to ensure free movement throughout the single market, and to ensure that businesses and consumers are protected from harm and receive compensation if harm does occur. This is especially important where products and services have automated decision-making capabilities and where competent authorities, businesses and consumers do not have access to clear information on how a decision was taken. In this case transparency can only be ensured through reversing the burden of proof.

3. the further setting of standards and goals, including on the quality of data, and the elimination of bias in all datasets through the establishment of safeguards in the design and testing of algorithmic decision-making, will be crucial for helping European businesses compete globally.

How is the Commission planning a) to ensure that consumers are protected from unfair and/or discriminatory commercial practices, or from the risks entailed by AI-driven professional services; b) to ensure greater transparency in these processes; and c) to ensure that only high-quality and non-biased data sets are used in automated decision-making process?

What initiatives will the Commission undertake to ensure that the EU safety and liability frameworks are fit for purpose and give market surveillance authorities and other competent authorities adequate means and powers to act?

Submitted: 23/01/2020

Lapses: 24/04/2020

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