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DHS Science and Technology seeks applications for 2020 Privacy Technology Demonstration

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Surveillance

A common concern about public-facing biometrics deployments is that surveillance features may be used against people for tracking and identification purposes

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is accepting applications from privacy tech developers for its 2020 Privacy Technology Demonstration where performance to safeguard user privacy by blurring or encrypting faces in videos will be tested, the institution announced.

DHS is concerned that surveillance features may be used against individuals for tracking and identification purposes, a common concern about public-facing biometrics deployments. It is now asking the industry to evaluate the technologies developed and respond to general concerns in the first event of its kind.

“Security and privacy do not need to be a zero-sum game,” said Arun Vemury, Director of DHS S&T’s Biometric and Identity Technology Center in a prepared statement. “New camera technologies with advanced edge processing capabilities, as well as video obfuscation technologies, may help organizations to continue to provide public safety while protecting the privacy of individuals and guarding against technology misuse.”

DHS S&T is looking for systems that can mine and analyze live or stored video footage, where faces are blurred and identification cannot be performed by humans or facial recognition algorithms. The systems can be either cameras with data processing at the edge or software that analyzes video in real-time.

Companies chosen to be part of the 2020 Privacy Technology Demo will showcase their technology to different government and private sector representatives, and will go through a collaborative evaluation process with DHS S&T in September 2020.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2020. Detailed instructions are available at the Maryland Test Facility website, but they will also be presented at Connect:ID 2020 and during a DHS S&T webinar next week.

Earlier this month, DHS S&T opened applications for its 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, challenging the industry to develop biometric recognition technologies that are fast, accurate, and easy to use for improved checkpoint security and user facilitation.

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