Logo CPDP2019
Wednesday 22 January 2020
Area 42 Grand
Privacy Platform (Renew Europe)

Panel Description

The fast developing new technology of facial recognition is increasingly present in the public debate, and is often presented as a 'convenient' or 'efficient' solution for both consumers and the public good. We are made to believe that paying for our groceries by facial recognition will be common sense in just a few years and will be so much more efficient. Or that we will all have digital identities based on facial recognition in order to communicate with our authorities. Or that we can soon travel without scanning our passports, but just cross borders by scanning our faces. Experiments on all these examples are already being carried out, disguised as "innovation" and "research". The current debate as to whether this use of our most unique feature, our face, is socially and ethically desirable cannot keep up with the imagination of the whiz-kids developing this technology, and who are selling their 'smart' technology to product developers and authorities. The panel will discuss the ethical aspects of facial recognition. Are the "convenient" solutions that facial recognition technology promises answers to real problems?  To what extent should people be protected against facial recognition and related function creep? Where do we draw the boundary between what should be "desirable" and what is "possible" technologically? Should the EU ban the use of facial recognition by law enforcement, as in California, or can we allow this and "innovate" and "experiment", like the French idea to give citizens a 'digital identity'?

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