Mar 262019
 March 26, 2019  Posted by  Featured News, Misc

Chris Burt writes:

The Biometrics Institute has launched a set of Ethical Principles for Biometrics at its annual U.S. conference in Washington, D.C. to address the gaps left by lagging legislation and regulation.

Chief Executive Isabelle Moeller asked an audience of 70 stakeholders from the biometrics community “Just because we can, should we?”


The group identified seven principles to enable anyone working in the biometrics industry to demonstrate a commitment to addressing the ethical issues raised by new technology, and biometrics in particular. The seven principles are: ethical behavior, meaning to avoid actions which harm people and the environment beyond legal requirements; ownership of the biometric and respect for individuals’ personal data, including recognition of partial ownership of biometric data by individuals; serving humans, which entails accounting for public good, community safety and net benefit to individuals; justice and accountability, which means accepting principles of openness, independent oversight, accountability, and the right of appeal and appropriate redress; promoting privacy-enhancing technology; recognizing dignity of individuals and families; and equality, which entails preventing discrimination or systemic bias.

Read more on Biometric Update.

  2 Responses to “Biometrics Institute launches Ethical Principles for Biometrics to guide responsible industry behavior”

  1. If the purpose of these principles is to answer the question “Is there anything we shouldn’t do if we can earn a profit doing it?” then these principles have succeeded. The answer is “No! Even the most dystopian future brought about by our technology and business plans can be made to fit entirely within these principles”.

    Everyone’s DNA and facial recognition data required to be in a government database? Principle 6 makes individual dignity and rights subservient to the AIMS of law enforcement regardless of the means used to attempt to achieve them or the suitability of those AIMS.

    Facial recognition data gathered from every public place by multiple corporations without consent for the purpose of later identification for sale to ad agencies, insurance companies, journalists, law enforcement, private investigators, etc. the way license plate recognition is now? I see nothing in these principles to require giving it a second thought.

    Nothing about consent let alone the requirement to opt-in or the ability to opt-out. In fact the only specific mention of privacy, principle 7, is only vaguely related to privacy at all and looks like it was thrown in solely to allow the dubious claim that privacy was even considered.

    What we have here is “Do not track” for real space. I had high hopes for “Do not track” because even I didn’t think that corporations would be brazen enough to put in writing that they didn’t care whether individuals wanted to be tracked. Boy, was I wrong. Now we’ve moved beyond the “notice and choice” scam that completely failed to protect privacy on the internet and all we’ve got to protect us from real world tracking is no choice and no principles.

    I hope whoever is claiming to represent me (a member of the general public) in the development of these “principles” resigns in protest before the panopticon construction industry gets too much marketing mileage out of claiming to have principles.

  2. Joe, I think you should send a copy of your comments to Terry Aulich and others. You can find their names on the Biometric Updates site and in the article I had linked to. And see about getting yourself a seat at that table.

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