Belgium to Boost EU Blockchain Project, FTC Focuses on AI Misuse

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Belgium Plans Restart of EU Blockchain Infrastructure Project

The Belgian government plans to accelerate the development of a European blockchain infrastructure during its presidency of the Council of the European Union in early 2024. The goal is to facilitate the secure storage of official documents such as driver’s licenses and property titles.

European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) to be relaunched

According to Mathieu Michel, the Belgian Secretary of State for Digitalisation, the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) project is to be restarted. The EBSI project was launched in 2018 by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Blockchain Partnership, which consists of the 27 EU member states as well as Norway and Liechtenstein.

Michel proposes renaming the EBSI project to “Europeum” and using it for public administration tasks, such as the verification of driver’s licenses and other documents throughout the EU. According to Michel, the project could also support the infrastructure for the digital Euro.

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Public Blockchain instead of private alternatives

Michel emphasized the importance of using a public blockchain developed by the EU member states and not resorting to private alternatives. He argues that the blockchain can return control over data to the citizens in terms of security, transparency, and data protection.

So far, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Romania have already confirmed their participation in the Europeum plan. The headquarters of the project will be in Belgium.

US Trade Commission Improves Investigation Procedures for AI Violations

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a new procedure for investigating cases involving the unlawful use of artificial intelligence (AI). This marks an increased focus on combating potential legal violations related to AI applications.

New measures for investigating AI violations

The FTC has approved a measure that makes it easier for its staff to issue civil investigative demands (CIDs) in investigations related to AI, while retaining its authority to determine when CIDs are issued. The FTC issues CIDs to obtain documents, information, and witness statements that advance consumer protection and competition investigations.

Increased focus on AI violations

Critics of the technology have expressed concerns that it could enhance fraudulent activities. In this context, the FTC has launched a competition to determine the most effective method of protecting consumers from fraud and other risks associated with voice cloning. Voice cloning technology has evolved with the improvement of text-to-speech AI technology and poses both risks and opportunities for consumers.

Sources: Science|Business, Reuters, Sumsub

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