The road to catastrophic biometric data collection is paved with good intentions - TechCrunch

The road to catastrophic biometric data collection is paved with

Planned biometric data collection has accelerated quite strongly in recent months. If you are not worried about it, you should be.

Of course, silly as it sounds, try to be more worry about what is normal. After all, the collection of biometric data for profit has gone through a normal level of normalization in the last decade. The idea that Apple would scan your fingerprints every day was a surprise. Now that's how we open our banking app and laptop - unless we do, of course, with our faces. It's off mainstream.

We adopted FaceID, thumb scanning and similar tasks in particular because of their convenience. No passcode, no problem.

Corporations and businesses have seen this, and convenience is now one of the two most commonly cited reasons for accepting biometric data collection - the other being public safety, which we can more easily reach. later. Fast biometric scans, we are told, make things faster and easier.

To save time, a number of primary schools across the UK have recently implemented face scanning for lunch payments. Several schools completed the program after data privacy experts and parents pushed back. They argued that the convenience of the price for a complete database of young children's faces stored on a server somewhere was not worth it. And they are right.


    Music for your ears, palm for your ticket

    This September, US ticketing company AXS announced a flagship program to use Amazon One's palm scanners at Red Rocks Amphitheater as an alternative to print or mobile concert tickets (with plans to expand to additional venues in the coming months). The decision was immediately opposed by both privacy experts and musicians, making it the first flash-point on biometric data collection within the live music industry.

    In 2022, major promoters of LiveNation and AEG (which coordinate major festivals such as Coachella) withdrew from plans to invest in face recognition technology and implement it at post - showbacks. public outreach from fans and artists.

    But the fight over the use of biometric recognition at live entertainment is far from settled. When the coronavirus outbreak sent professional sports officials in charge of full stadiums back to the planning board, their new plans often included big face recognition. Tickets would be replaced by faces, which would probably make everyone safer from the virus.

    These officers are determined. The Dutch football team AFC Ajax are trying to reinvent their face recognition pilot program that was initially stopped by data protection regulators. Henk van Raan, chief innovation officer of Ajax 's Amsterdam ArenA home area, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, "We hope to use this coronavirus pandemic to change rules. The coronavirus is a larger enemy than [any threat to] confidentiality. ”

    This is a very logical reasoning, as the risks to our privacy are not diminished or mitigated by our threat to a virus.

    In the same article, Shaun Moore, CEO of Trueface face recognition provider, outlined his conversations with professional sports officials heavily regarding touch points by issuing credentials, citing the risk of virus spread while he was scanning ticket barcodes.

    This is a stretch, and you don't have to be an epidemiologist to call one. When the main event involves a large crowd of people shouting and cheering alongside each other, this may not be the covert interaction in the moment when an agent scans a worthwhile ticket. to worry about. As the argument about safety falls apart, so does the convenience. The simple truth is that our lives have not been surprisingly and meaningfully improved by replacing a mobile ticket with our palm. Those extra five seconds are controversial.

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    It's interesting to see van Raan talk so directly about using the pandemic to overcome protections and privacy concerns. But his reasoning is frightening and flawed.

    Yes, the coronavirus is a real threat, but it is not an "enemy". It is unimaginable, and there is no reason. It is a virus. It is beyond human control. In the case of insurance, it is "God's act". And it's being used to prove something that is largely under human control: The dramatic rise in biometric data collection led by public safety or convenience.

    Public safety and free associations

    Public safety is often the reason for further biometric analysis. In August, U.S. lawmakers introduced a mandate requiring car manufacturers to introduce new technology to new cars to prevent drunk drivers from starting vehicles. That “passive” technology could be anything from eye scanners and breathalyzers to an infrared sensor that tests BAC levels through the skin.

    Yes, this is a noble cause with a cause for respect. The U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drunk driving kills nearly 10,000 people each year; the European Commission lists a similar number for the EU.

    But where does all that data go? Where is it stored? Who is it for, and what do they plan to do with it? The privacy risks are too great.

    The pandemic has removed many of the obstacles that stand in the way of large - scale biometric data collection acceptance, and the consequences for civil liberties will be dire if it is allowed to continue in this way. The intensity of the scrutiny goes up in peak time, forcing governments and corporations for profit to remain true to most of the private details of our lives and organizations.

    A mobile phone ticket is enough for tracking - it tells the system that you entered the center at the right time, after all. Do not fix it unless it is broken! And do not enter biometric data collection just because you can be in the form of a shaker without the spread of germs.

    Provide as little biometric data as possible, time. It's not enough to avoid giving your biometric data to Google or Amazon in particular, since the blacklists of these corporations come to, say, basic human rights and civil liberties.

    A smaller company that is not affiliated with your usual technical giant may feel less at risk, but do not be bothered. As soon as Amazon or Google finds that company, they will get your biometric data and everyone else's with it. And we're back to where we started.

    A safe society does not have to be a society that is under scrutiny. We built societies that have been increasingly safe and healthy for centuries without the use of a single video camera. And in addition to safety, civil liberties that value civil liberties are valued by a heavy examination that is as detailed and personal as the death of a society.

    Maybe that's all this comes down to. A society is not free and open without its risks - it is arguably one of the key issues in Western political thought since the Enlightenment. These risks far outweigh the risks of living in a closely studied society.

    In other words, we do not get off the biometric grid on which we are going. Now is the time to stop the slippage by managing and eliminating unnecessary biometric data collection, especially when for - profit corporations are involved.

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