In the AI Act, the EU Commission focuses on standards for product safety. The EU Parliament has supplemented the draft with important rights for affected workers, citizens and consumers and clearly limited the democratically unjustifiable use of AI for biometric identification and emotion recognition of persons.
It is common practice within the EU for people to travel, live, work or be posted by their employer to another EU country. However, cross-border digital evidence, for example with regard to health care, pensions or family benefits, is not yet universally possible. Therefore, at the beginning of September, the EU Commission presented instruments in a new Communication with which it would like to enable faster and easier digital access to social security services.
On Wednesday, 13 September 2023, Commission President von der Leyen delivered the annual State of the Union (SOTEU) address at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. The last SOTEU in this legislative period before the upcoming EU elections in June 2024 focused on green transition, artificial intelligence (AI) and enlargement. The social perspective was addressed with individual important points, for example with regard to the role of the social partners. However, overall it fell too short.
Influencer marketing is growing rapidly in social media and is used in a wide variety of areas such as fashion, fitness, food or travel. Due to the great response and the potential to set trends, this type of marketing has become a sought-after form of advertising. Brands are increasingly using it to promote their products and services and get their messages across to a large audience. But what impact does this type of advertising have on consumers, and where would EU-wide regulation need to intervene?
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems has already penetrated many areas of life in recent years. Due to the current rapid spread of ChatGPT, awareness of AI and the need for regulating AI systems has recently risen sharply. Besides positive expectations towards innovation, AI systems also raise concerns, especially with regard to the safety and protection of the fundamental rights of workers and consumers. On 14 June 2023, the EU Parliament will vote on how the future EU law on Artificial Intelligence should be designed.
Rapid advances in the development of artificial intelligence and algorithms make the protection of people in the digital space a highly relevant concern for European policy. With its initiative on "Digital Fairness", the EU Commission wants to check whether existing EU consumer law ensures that the same level of fairness is achieved online and offline. As shown in a new AK EUROPA position paper, there is indeed still a great need for action to make this maxim a reality.
With its initiative on "Digital Fairness", the EU Commission wants to analyse whether the existing consumer protection law ensures an equal level of fairness online and offline. As presented in this AK EUROPA position paper, there is certainly a great need for action from the point of view of AK. The digital economy is gaining more and more power over consumers and citizens through excessive use of data, algorithms and artificial intelligence, while their position is becoming ever weaker. "Take it or leave it" is often the motto of online providers.
Jointly with other organisations working for digital rights of patients, healthcare professionals, consumers, workers and trade unions in the European Health Data Area, AK EUROPA has addressed Members of the EU Parliament in an open letter. The letter urges MEPs to prioritise fundamental rights of European patients in the digitalisation of health systems and, in particular, to include consent requirements for the use of data. The current proposal threatens to deny patients control over the sharing of their medical data and its commercial exploitation.
The Brussels offices of the Austrian Chamber of Labour (AK EUROPA) and the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB Europabüro), as well as the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), cordially invite you to our joint webinar "The European Health Data Space: a risk or an opportunity?”.
On 8 December 2022, ministers of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council were able to make progress regarding important issues concerning the European Pillar of Social Rights – for example in the fight against asbestos at the workplace or in respect of long-term care. However, the Council has not been able to adopt a common position for platform work. But there was positive news regarding this issue from the EU Parliament, where the Employment Committee adopted its report on 12 December 2022.