Open letter to Council of Europe’s AI Convention negotiators: Do not water down our rights

DARE network calls on the State Parties and the EU negotiating the text of the Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Democracy to equally cover the public and private sectors and reject blanket exemptions regarding national security and defense.

  • Many people look to the Council of Europe in particular, as human rights and the digital market are all too often weighed against each other within the EU. We were able to observe this during the negotiations of the AI Act and the unfortunate aftermath that some member states initiated after the trialogue.
  • If the Member States of the Council of Europe would decide for a similar approach, this also would have an impact on education, as many companies and providers offer or want to offer AI systems in education, often with little careful implementation of human rights.
  • Therefore, Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe (DARE network) signed the Open Letter initiated by the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe (CINGO), Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP), AlgorithmWatch and the European Center for Non-Profit Law.

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Negotiating states (including non-Council of Europe members, such as the US) discuss several options that would allow states to limit the applicability of the treaty to public authorities – i.e., to carve out exemptions for private companies. In addition and similar to the EU AI Act, they also foresee an exemption for national security, which would be out of scope of the Convention.