What does it mean for technology to be increasingly reliant on biometrics? Do facial recognition practices make room for racial discrimination? With both private companies and states implementing biometric technologies, what human rights issues arise? These are some of the questions addressed in Leandro Ucciferri’s new post with Privacy International, “The Identity We Can’t Change“.
Ucciferri, who works with the Cyber Stewards partner Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles in Argentina and will be a visiting fellow at The Citizen Lab in Toronto this summer, investigates the intimate nature of biometrics in our everyday lives. Biometrics– the process of using biological, morphological or behavioural characteristics to identify an individual– has increasingly become integral in the modern world, including phones that open by recognizing an owner’s fingerprint. As Ucciferri points out: “Without realizing, our biometric personal identity has become fused with our most personal electronic device.”
He also seeks to delve into the nature of policy for both businesses and nations to ensure that the rights of citizens are protected:
“Biometric data is not used solely by private companies in order to make a profit. States are one of the main actors in biometrics, with large scale biometric databases of their citizens. In light of this, what are the safeguards in place to avoid manipulation and adulteration of such stored data? What type of guarantees should be established to ensure the integrity of the data obtained?”
The full report can be read here.