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People will always be at the heart of the Digital Single Market, say S&Ds


20 May 2021


Innovation & Enterprise

Socialists and Democrats have paved the way for a Digital Single Market that respects the rights of online users, protects and informs consumers, and ensures equal access to all. This plenary session, S&D members have confirmed our priorities regarding the functioning of the Single Market and reiterated the Group’s main recommendations for human centric AI.

Evelyne Gebhardt MEP, S&D negotiator on the file, said:

“Artificial Intelligence is becoming a part of our daily lives. Algorithms run smart goods, entice internet users to shop online, and they can even grant or decline a credit. AI entails big chances for society, for the internal market and the environment. However, we should not underestimate its risks. A default in an AI software is practically invisible for consumers. That is why consumers deserve to be informed when they interact with AI systems.

“We need clear rules and ambitious safeguards to protect consumers and their rights. Technologies that could have harmful or discriminatory effects need to be prohibited. The Commission has to prevent unfair or abusive uses of self-learning algorithms that enable businesses to understand consumers’ personal circumstances and behaviour patterns. We need human control throughout the complete life cycle of an algorithm. In a nutshell, the Regulation of AI needs to follow the precautionary principle and ensure it is of benefit to European citizens.”

Christel Schaldemose MEP, S&D spokeswoman on the internal market and consumer protection, said:

“The development of the Digital Single Market and of AI technologies should not solely be directed towards increasing competitiveness and economic growth, but should also be developed in a human centric perspective and contribute to improving the well-being of Europeans.

“AI must be a transparent and ethical tool to help achieve a socially fair and progressive society.”