Thoughtful Biometrics Workshop launched to bring fresh perspectives to technology challenges

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes

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A new biometrics event has been unveiled with the intention of bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders including privacy professionals, humanitarian groups, regulators and policy-makers, commercial users of identity systems and the digital identity community to discuss pressing issues and encouragement discerning use of biometric technologies.

The Thoughtful Biometrics Workshop is therefore presented as contrasting with events like Connect:ID and the K(n)ow Identity Conference, which the Workshop website suggests are meant to sell biometrics.

The three-day virtual event will be held March 8, 10 and 12, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm PST, and registration is required.

The event is being convened by Acuant Director of Computer Vision and Machine Learning Asem Othman, Veridium CRTO John Callahan, and ‘Identity Woman’ and Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) Co-founder Kaliya Young.

“Biometrics are surfacing more and more in conversations about technology and everyday life,” Young told Biometric Update in an email. “Those working in biometrics technology the scientists and engineers rarely get to connect with civil society advocates who rightfully have concerns about the technology and how it works. This event is an opportunity to build relationships and mutual understanding.”

The event is inspired by the IIW, and will run as an open conference featuring agenda co-creation and participant presentations, as opposed to the more common format of fixed agendas with pre-determined presenters.

Biometrics luminaries Arun Ross and Stephanie Schuckers are among the early confirmed attendees.

Othman notes that as a biometric scientist, he typically has attended events which are focused on state-of-the-art research, or like IIW at which identity ecosystems and architectures are the focus, or more vendor-driven events.

“Therefore, I believe this workshop will bring developers, researchers, and thought leaders from these two interconnected communities to openly share ideas and be transparent about their concerns and issues about the other side,” Othman states.

“Based on my interaction with both communities, I believe these concerns are merely due to misunderstanding about the basics; from one side, about biometric and the current state of the art research in the biometric space, and on the other side, the recent fast-paced development and improvement that is happening in the different identity ecosystems.”

“Tools like encryption based on standards within approved frameworks have long served to help developers build such solutions,” explains Callahan. “Unfortunately, while biometric systems are well documented, they generally lack integration into existing authentication and authorization frameworks.”

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