Surveillance technology and Artificial Intelligence


The ethical cost of Artificial Intelligence tools has triggered heated debates in the last few months. From chatbots to image generation software, advocates and detractors have been debating the technological pros and societal cons of the new technology.  

The deployment of Artificial Intelligence to manage migration flows actively contributes to the instability of the Middle East and North African region as well as discriminatory border procedures. It threatens the right to asylum, the right to leave one’s country, the principle of non-refoulement as well as the rights to privacy and liberty.  

EuroMed Rights remains committed to the creation of an open mediterranean space which allows unhindered human flows between the two shores of the Mediterranean. This page investigates the risks Surveillance Technology and Artificial Intelligence pose for people on the move.

Artificial Intelligence: the New Frontier of the EU's border externalisation strategy

In Artificial Intelligence: The New Frontier of the EU’s Border Externalisation Strategy EuroMed Rights and researcher Antonella Napolitano analyse how surveillance technology has been a crucial part of the European policy of externalisation of migration control. When surveillance technologies are deployed with the purpose of anti-smuggling, trafficking or counterterrorism in countries where democracies are fragile or there are authoritarian governments, they can easily end up being used for the repression of civic space and freedom of expression. What is being sold as tools to curb migrant flows, could actually be used to reinforce the security apparatus of repressive governments and fuel instability in the region.

Europe's techno-borders

Drafted with Statewatch, the report Europe’s techno-borders highlights how this security obsession has been applied to the EU’s borders for decades, equipping them with ever-more advanced technologies. This architecture for border surveillance has been continuously expanding in an attempt to detect, deter and repel refugees and migrants. For those who manage to enter, they are biometrically registered and screened against large-scale databases, raising serious concerns on privacy violations, data protection breaches and questions of proportionality.