State of Biometrics Report Addresses: How’d we get here? Where are we headed?

“Regulating Biometrics: Global Approaches and Urgent Questions,” from the AI Now Institute says there’s a growing sense among regulation advocates that a biometric surveillance state is not inevitable.

There are many types, including facial, vocal, and retinal. An emerging category is behavioral which can include interpreting gait, keyboard keystroke patterns, vascular patterns. There’s also genomic identification.

Concerns are many, including that, biometric data is often collected (via cameras and other methods) without individuals knowing it; laws are inconsistent in regulating for notification and disposal; and there is significant room for error, particularly in behavioral biometrics (also called “soft biometrics”).  Advocates claim there is a high degree of accuracy and continuity over time.

The report covers types of biometrics being employed, case histories on use, and the state of this global, multi-billion-dollar industry.

Now, with individual fears for safety heighted during the pandemic, and with healthcare, education and government sectors gathering data at unprecedented rates, this is a critical area for privacy.