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Putting People First: Implementing Biometrics Ethically

– The Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition

  • Explainer
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • Via Adam Wiedemann (City of Austin)
  • 3 November 2020

Assessing and mitigating the risks of biometric technologies

In this explainer, Wiedemann outlines the potential risks associated with implementing biometrics technologies, and offers up solutions to mitigate those risks.

"While caution is well deserved, we believe there is a way to ethically implement biometric authentication. This paper identifies the specific risks associated with biometrics and offers some possible implementations to mitigate against those risks."

Privacy, security, mission creep, and algorithmic bias are all noted by Wiedemann as potential issues. The piece goes on to argue that secure data handling and template storage, as well as inclusivity benchmarks, are central to the process of implementing biometric systems, with Wiedemann citing the City of Austin’s MyPass programme as an example of biometric authentication done well.

Careful implementation of biometric authentication can address ethical concerns over privacy and security

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