Biometric Systems & Privacy

Biometric systems have rapidly become an everyday feature of our lives. Facial recognition in public spaces, fingerprint scanning in phones and entry systems, mood recognition from voice analysis in customer service — biometric systems are so common, they are almost taken for granted.

Cases in point are the recent attempted applications of facial recognition in UK School Cafeterias and by the IRS trying facial recognition for account access to “simplify” and “facilitate efficient” engagement. But biometric systems are far from innocuous, and their prevalence shouldn’t mask the danger they pose.

In fact, For Humanity believes, the treatment of Biometric Data is insufficiently governed, everywhere in the world, in all systems, and in all legal jurisdictions. For example, if you have been on Dubai’s glamorous airports, Iris scanning is now part of the immigration & custom process. Do we all know what is that information used for?

One question that can be asked is why is biometric information worth more than the digital dust we leave on the internet? Here are the top three reasons as per the report:

1. The immutable nature of many Biometric Data items makes them more intrinsic to people’s being than most other data, and so results in an enormous risk to people from breach, theft, misuse, and misappropriation.

2. The richness of information extractable from biometric data makes drifts in scope, nature, and purpose extremely common and potentially almost endless.

3. The conspicuous nature of many biometrically scannable identifiers (say, our faces or gaits) makes such data potentially very public, and has already led to a significant breach of privacy whenever people are in public places, physically or virtually.

Fantastic report and effort For Humanity Folks! Good job!




CEO & Chief Data Scientist @ Psyda, Visiting Professor, Podcaster & Above all a Passionate Teacher.

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Minhaaj Rehman

Minhaaj Rehman

CEO & Chief Data Scientist @ Psyda, Visiting Professor, Podcaster & Above all a Passionate Teacher.

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