October 2013 – Pam Dixon is speaking at Biometrics 2013 in London with Dr. Joseph Atick and Dr. Emilio Mordini, Director, Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship, Italy.
The topic is Privacy at the Cross Road: A Debate on Frameworks.
As biometrics become part of our daily lives, the issue of privacy and the protection of personal identifiable information (PII) such as biometric data is beginning to take centre stage. This debate will review the pressing issues with respect to privacy and the role of the biometrics industry in it.
The audience will hear the views of prominent privacy experts that will explain what is at stake and why legal frameworks have been difficult to develop so far, and also from industry experts who will give the market perspective and the industry concern regarding the chilling effect of over-reaching privacy legislation.
Delegates will also be invited to play an active role in what promises to be an exciting dialogue on the future of privacy and the role of the biometrics industry in it.
India’s national biometric ID card — In the May/June, 2013 issue of Foreign Policy Magazine, Pam Dixon writes about the privacy issues related to India’s national biometric ID card. In the piece, Mission Creep, Dixon discusses how government-issued biometric ID cards that serve as national ID cards and as the basis for employment and financial transactions create profound civil liberties and privacy challenges that are neither easily or well-constrained by government policy.
Facial recognition — Pam Dixon spoke at a CES panel on privacy issues in facial recognition technologies as part of the Leaders in Technology program at CES. The panel was moderated by Tony Romm of Politico and included FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen and Harley Geiger, legislative counsel for Representative Zoe Lofgren. Dixon spoke on the need for increased work on consumer options in a “sensor rich environment where there is no option to opt out by walking out.” Referenced in the panel was WPF’s report on digital signage and facial recognition, The One-Way Mirror Society.
The World Privacy Forum appreciates the opportunity to comment on the issue of facial recognition pursuant to the FTC Face Facts Workshop held on December 8, 2011.  The World Privacy Forum spoke on Panel 4 of the workshop, and those comments are already on the record. In these written comments, we would like to submit several key documents for the record and reaffirm several ideas from the workshop. The documents we are including as part of these comments include the World Privacy Forum’s groundbreaking report on digital signage, The One Way Mirror Society. Also included as part of these comments are the consensus privacy principles for digital signage installations that were signed by the leading US consumer and privacy groups.
Privacy tip — If you have a Facebook account and if you have ever been tagged in a photo of yourself on Facebook, we want to alert you to an important Facebook setting. Unless you have proactively changed your privacy settings, Facebook will use facial recognition tools to compare photos and make tag suggestions. When new photos that look like you have been uploaded, Facebook will suggest tags with your name. To opt out of this, in Facebook go to Account, then choose Privacy Settings from the drop down menu. Click the Customize Settings link, and then scroll down and look for the Suggest Photos of Me to Friends line. To opt out, click Edit Settings, then choose Disable on the drop down menu.