From border control to policing and welfare, governments are using automated facial recognition technology (FRT) to collect taxes, prevent crime, police cities and control immigration. FRT involves processing of a person’s facial image, typically for verification, identification, categorisation or counting. Concerns around an increased use of live automated FRT in airports, train stations and city streets across the globe have led many NGOs, local municipalities and legislators in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific to call for regulation or even outright bans on FRT use. However, regulatory solutions lag behind.
A facial image is a biometric that can be collected from a distance, and without the person’s knowledge or consent. Academics thus have largely focused on the privacy implications of FRT, often limited to a specific jurisdiction. However, FRT use raises concerns that go well beyond privacy. The increasing use of FRT in public spaces changes the balance of power between governments and their populations: it enables the state to locate and identify individuals in seconds without the significant human resources needed in traditional policing or migration. It can thus impact on political protests, undermine due process and equal protection.
This international conference and Cambridge Handbook on Facial Recognition in the Modern State (CUP, 2024) aims to provide a platform for socio-legal discussion around government use of FRT across domestic and regional jurisdictions in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Is FRT a legitimate tool to ensure public safety and security? Or is it a surveillance infrastructure, undermining fundamental rights and the rule of law? The conference and Cambridge Handbook will explore whether and how the answers to these questions differ among liberal democracies, and how democracies compare to authoritarian regimes in six different continents. Building on cultural and legal differences and common trends, the presenters will discuss possible future directions in regulating governments’ use of FRT at national, regional and international levels.
Time: Thursday, 15 September 2022, 9:00am- 5:30pm UTC+2 /CEST
Format: Online; Link will be sent to registered participants closer to the event
Prof Orla Lynskey, London School of Economics, UKProf Milton Mueller, Georgia Tech, USAProf Mark Andrejevic, Monash University, Australia
Conference Program including abstracts and speakers’ bios is available here.
The conference is hosted by:Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences, Lithuania (main host)UNSW Sydney, AustraliaMacquarie University, AustraliaLondon School of Economics, UKGeorgia Tech, USAAllens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation, UNSW Sydney, AustraliaCentre for Law in the Digital Transformation at the University of Hamburg, GermanyARC Centre of Excellence Automated Decision-Making and Society
Organizing Committee:Rita Matulionyte – Macquarie University / Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social SciencesAgne Limante – Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social SciencesEgle Kavoliunaite-Ragauskiene – Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social SciencesMonika Zalnieriute – UNSW Sydney / Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences
This conference is part of the project ‘Government Use of Facial Recognition Technologies: Legal Challenges and Solutions’ (FaceAI), funded by Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT) S-MIP-21-38.
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