Collaborative, less adversarial regulation can boost face biometrics: World Economic Forum

Collaborative, less adversarial regulation can boost face biometrics: World Economic Forum

Regulating facial recognition might be the one idea that the World Economic Forum can suggest and offend none of its business, government and nonprofit members.

The international group, which hunts for public-private solutions to global problems, identifies face biometrics as an important tool for rebuilding economies after the pandemic.

In a new forward-looking report about technology governance, the forum explains that careful and collaborative regulation is needed to craft a facial recognition industry that is responsive to buyers and responsible within global society.

Efforts are underway regionally to build trust in biometrics, according to the report. But progress is slow and falling far behind the pace set by technology companies as they turn research into new surveillance and identification products.

Forum leaders pulled in business consultant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. to write the report.

Examples of ethical technology governance exist, according to the report’s authors.

The public-private Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association promotes self-regulation of virtual currencies. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has for years modeled flexible, non-dogmatic industry guidance.

And the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe is sponsoring work on collaborative regulation to “harmonize” autonomous vehicle rules.

From a tactical point of view, the World Economic Forum’s report pushes for greater use of technology sandboxes in which industry can safely experiment with pre-market goods and ideas while regulators observe. The real-time feedback loop can make development and introduction smoother.

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