In the European Parliament a draft report with recommendations to the European Commission on a civil liability regime for artificial intelligence (AI) is discussed. On the liability of the operator of AI-systems:
Liability of the operator
11. Opines that liability rules involving the operator should cover all operations of AI-systems, irrespective of where the operation takes place and whether it happens physically or virtually; remarks that operations in public spaces that expose many persons to a risk constitute, however, cases that require further consideration; considers that the potential victims of harm or damage are often not aware of the operation and regularly would not have contractual liability claims against the operator; notes that when harm or damage materialises, such persons would then only have a fault-liability claim, and they might find it difficult to prove the fault of the operator of the AI-system and thus, corresponding liability claims might fail;
12. Considers it appropriate to understand operator to cover both frontend and backend operator, as long as the latter is not covered by the PLD; notes that the frontend operator should be defined as the natural or legal person who exercises a degree of control over a risk connected with the operation and functioning of the AI-system and benefits from its operation; states that the backend operator should be defined as the natural or legal person who, on a continuous basis, defines the features of the technology, provides data and essential backend support service and therefore also exercises a degree of control over the risk connected with the operation and functioning of the AI-system; considers that exercising control means any action of the operator that influences the operation of the AI-system and thus the extent to which it exposes third parties to its potential risks; considers that such actions could impact the operation of an AI-system from start to finish, by determining the input, output or results, or could change specific functions or processes within the AI-system;
13. Notes that there could be situations in which there is more than one operator, for example a backend and frontend operator; considers that in that event, all operators should be jointly and severally liable while having the right to recourse proportionately against each other; is of the opinion that the proportions of liability should be determined by the respective degrees of control the operators had over the risk connected with the operation and functioning of the AI-system; considers that the product traceability should be improved in order to better identify those involved in the different stages;
- Committee draft report, JURI, 27 April 2020.
- Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading, 5 October 2020.
- Procedure file Civil liability regime for artificial intelligence, 2020/2014(INL).