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Brazil’s data privacy regulator looks at biometrics and facial recognition in new report

Brazil’s data privacy regulator looks at biometrics and facial recognition in new report

Brazil’s National Data Protection Authority (ANPD) has published the second volume of its Technological Radar series, and it focuses on biometrics and facial recognition. A release announcing the publication, which is available here in Portuguese, says it addresses use cases for biometrics and face matching in sectors such as education and public security, while weighing the privacy risks.

The report conducted by the Authority’s General Coordination of Technology and Research (CGTP) notes the importance of taking into account that biometric information is sensitive personal data, and the depth of harm that can come to people if they are wrongly identified by facial recognition. It also notes concerns about the potential for discrimination and bias in facial biometrics systems.

AI has boosted facial recognition accuracy but risks remain high

The report makes a point of stating that AI applications have helped improve the accuracy of facial recognition. “However,” it says, “it is important to reiterate that accuracy is just one of the challenges inherent to these technologies, with regard to privacy and data protection, whether by the public or private sector.”

“Theoretically, the results suggested by the use of facial recognition are optimistic, but their counterweights in real application are relevant, bearing in mind that biometric data are sensitive personal data and affect large segments of the population, including vulnerable groups.”

The ANPD’s will delve further into these issues in its Regulatory Agenda for the 2023–2024 biennium, as biometrics and facial recognition continue to be deployed for identity verification, access control and security purposes.

The ANPD’s Technological Radar series focuses on emerging technologies with data privacy impacts and aims to “add relevant information to the debate on data protection in the country, with didactic texts accessible to the general public.” The first edition looked at smart cities.

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