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Commentary: Biometrics enhance security and convenience but can have malign uses

In any other case, worries will develop that we’re sleepwalking in the direction of a surveillance state.

Essentially the most evident concern about using such information is the way it strengthens surveillance capabilities in methods with no accountability, most notably in China which rigorously screens its personal inhabitants and exports “digital authoritarianism”.

A 2019 report from the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace discovered synthetic intelligence-enabled surveillance expertise was being utilized in no less than 75 of the 176 international locations it studied.

China was the most important provider of such expertise, promoting to 63 international locations, whereas US firms bought to 32 international locations.

However using biometric information can also be being enthusiastically adopted by the non-public sector in workplaces, retailers and colleges around the globe. It’s used to confirm the id of taxi drivers, rent workers, monitor manufacturing facility employees, flag shoplifters and pace up queues for college meals.

A robust case for why politicians have to act now to create a stronger authorized framework for biometric applied sciences has been made by the barrister Matthew Ryder in an unbiased report revealed this week. (For disclosure: the report was commissioned by the Ada Lovelace Institute and I’m on the charity’s board.)

Till that comes into pressure, Ryder has referred to as for a moratorium on using dwell facial recognition expertise. Comparable calls have been made by British parliamentarians and US legislators with out prompting a lot response from nationwide governments.

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