The European Union’s executive body on Wednesday proposed new regulations that would limit facial recognition and other “high-risk” applications of artificial intelligence.

The regulations proposed by the European Commission would prohibit law enforcement officials from using facial recognition with some exceptions for responding to terrorist attacks and finding missing children.

The technology has been roundly criticized by civil liberties and privacy groups that warn it is biased against women and people of color and even if it did work accurately would give the government overwhelming surveillance power.

The other high-risk applications of AI in the commission’s proposal include in transportation, hiring and criminal justice. Proposed technologies in those areas would need significant vetting before being allowed.

“On Artificial Intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have,” Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice president of the European Commission panel tasked with digital issues, said in a statement.

“By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way,” she added.

The proposal rolled out Wednesday still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and member nations before becoming law.

Tags AI EU European Union facial recognition Margrethe Vestager

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