On 21 April 2021 the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation aimed at establishing a harmonised framework for artificial intelligence (AI) systems at European level (for further details, please see "EU AI regulation proposal published"). The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) have taken a position and shared their recommendations on the new legal framework proposed by the Commission in a joint opinion delivered on 18 June 2021.

While artificial intelligence has already been the subject of numerous resolutions, recommendations and white papers, which have led to a better understanding of the issues relating to the exponential development of AI, this proposal would constitute the first binding legislative instrument at European level.

In its proposal, the Commission adopts a classification and framework of AI systems according to four levels of risk, from the smallest to the most unacceptable. The EDPB and the EDPS welcome this approach but consider that the concept of "risk to fundamental rights" must, in order to be effective, align with the existing data protection framework in the European Union. The EDPB and the EDPS also regret that the prohibited systems are too timid and recall the need to clarify the application of the principles of the EU General Data Protection Regulation to AI systems.

The proposal for a regulation is yet to be voted on or approved by the European Parliament and the representatives of the member states of the European Union.

For further information on this topic please contact Vincent Denoyelle or Naomi Bellaiche at Eversheds Sutherland by telephone (+33 1 55 73 40 00) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Eversheds Sutherland website can be accessed at www.eversheds-sutherland.com.