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"Facing Facism," Alberto Cammozzo [research paper]

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"Facing Facism," Alberto Cammozzo [research paper]

Postby cryptostorm_admin » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:21 pm

Facing Facism: Unique biometric identifiers and data totalitarianism: socio-technical considerations
by Alberto Cammozzo


Abstract

New technological facts, combined in a social perspective, highlight a possible data totalitarianism based on unique biometric identifiers. This article reviews those technological and social facts, highlights the socio-political implications and ventures some suggestion. Technological facts are:

    1) non-cooperative visual biometrics, especially face and behavior recognition (gait), and their multimodal combination;
    2) wearable computing and augmented reality;
    3) face recognition search engines;
    4) interoperable biometric systems,making easy to enroll and recognize targets on different independent systems, and
    5) the build-up of massive biometric data collections.

Those technological facts may combine in a socio-technical arrangement where a securitarian culture prevails, as highlighted by:

    1) social networks that fight a war on pseudonymity;
    2) the “right to surveillance” is socially and legally uncoded and asymmetrically distributed: ubiquitous surveillance is unevenly flanked by practices as crowdsourced surveillance or sousveillance.

This socio-technical setup highlights a condition where a new form of data totalitarianism may raise, especially in countries where technological advancement is not combined with equal improvement in privacy-awareness and democracy. Besides data protection authorities rulings, what initiatives could help to face this threat on a socio-technical ground?

    1) Re-establishing information symmetry. This could be achieved through publicly accessible face recognition search engines and the decoupling of identity provider and content repository services,allowing both real name requirement and pseudonymity;
    2) protecting privacy in the public context, assuming default opt-out from identity recognition.


Keywords:

privacy, biometric data, face recognition, gait recognition, wearable computing,interoperability, pseudonymity, identity providers, data breaches, surveillance, sousveillance, re-identification.
Attachments
Cammozzo-2013-ETHICOMP-FacingFacism.pdf
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