• Vaccine passportsVaccine Passport Missteps We Should Not Repeat

    By Alexis Hancock, Adam Schwartz, and Jon Callas

    As they roll out, we must protect users of vaccine passports and those who do not want to use—or cannot use—a digitally scannable means to prove vaccination. We cannot let the tools used to fight for public health be subverted into systems to perpetuate inequity or as cover for unrelated, unnecessary data collection.

  • AfghanistanThe Taliban May Have Captured the Biometric Data of Civilians Who Helped the U.S.

    By Lucia Nalbandian

    In 2007, the United States military began using a small, handheld device – calledHandheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE) — to collect and match the iris, fingerprints, and facial scans of over 1.5 million Afghans against a database of biometric data.HIDE was initially developed by the U.S. government as a means to locate insurgents and other wanted individuals.HIDE, andits collected data,  are speculated to have been captured by the Taliban.There is a lesson here: If security and privacy cannot be ensured, then biometric data collection and use should not be deployed in conflict zones and crisis response.

  • China watchMembers of Scientific Journal Editorial Board Resign over China Genetics Papers

    Eight members of the editorial board of Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine have resigned after the journal published several controversial papers which “critics fear could be used for DNA profiling and persecution of ethnic minorities in China.”

  • Genomic securityChinese Company’s Global Genetic Data Collection Poses Economic, Security Threats: Experts

    By Adrianna Zhang

    A Chinese gene company is collecting genetic data through prenatal tests from women in more than 50 countries— including Germany, Spain and Denmark, as well as in Britain, Canada, Australia, Thailand, India and Pakistan. Collecting the biggest and most diverse set of human genomes could propel China to dominate global pharmaceuticals, and also potentially lead to genetically enhanced soldiers, or engineered pathogens to target the U.S. population or food supply, biosecurity experts told Reuters.

  • Genomic securitySen. Rubio Urges Senate to Pass Genomics Data Security Act

    Senator Marco Rubio urged the Senate to pass his Genomics Data Security Act following a new Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) report, which found that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not consider national security risks for any CMS programs. Rubio noted that Chinese and Russian labs may be receiving federal dollars to processing Americans’ genomic data.

  • BiometricsEvaluating Face Recognition Software’s Accuracy for Flight Boarding

    Recent tests show that the most accurate face recognition algorithms have demonstrated the capability to confirm airline passenger identities while making very few errors. Facial recognition is currently part of the onboarding process for international flights, both to confirm a passenger’s identity for the airline’s flight roster and also to record the passenger’s official immigration exit from the United States.

  • CrimeInteractive Police Line-Ups Improve Eyewitness Accuracy

    Lineups are used around the globe to help police identify criminals. Typically these involve witnesses examining an image of the suspect alongside ‘fillers’ – individuals who look similar, but who weren’t involved in the crime.A new interactive lineup software enables witnesses to rotate and view lineup faces from different angles.Researchers found that witnesseswere more likely to accurately pick out the criminal from the lineup.

  • Facial recognitionFace Off for Best ID Checkers

    A face matching test has been updated to find super-recognizers who can help prevent errors caused by face recognition software. The type of professional roles that involve face identification and that could benefit from the test include visa processors, passport issuers, border control officers, police, contract tracers, as well as security staff in private industry.

  • SurveillanceDeployment of Emotion-Recognition Technologies in China Threatens Human Rights

    Emotion recognition is a biometric technology which purports to be able to analyze a person’s inner emotional state. These biometric applications are used by law enforcement authorities to identify suspicious individuals, and by schools to monitor how well a student is paying attention in class. China is deploying the technology to allow the authorities to better monitor forbidden anti-regime thoughts among citizens who are subject to police interrogation or investigation.

  • DNACoercive Collection of DNA Is Unethical, Damaging to the Future of Medical Research

    The compulsory collection of DNA being undertaken in some parts of the world is not just unethical, but risks affecting people’s willingness to donate biological samples and thus contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge and the development of new treatments, say experts.

  • SurveillanceFace Surveillance and the Capitol Attack

    By Jason Kelley

    After last week’s violent attack on the Capitol, law enforcement is working overtime to identify the perpetrators. This is critical to accountability for the attempted insurrection. Law enforcement has many, many tools at their disposal to do this, especially given the very public nature of most of the organizing. But the Electronic Frontier Foundations (EFF) says it objects to one method reportedly being used to determine who was involved: law enforcement using facial recognition technologies to compare photos of unidentified individuals from the Capitol attack to databases of photos of known individuals. “There are just too many risks and problems in this approach, both technically and legally, to justify its use,” the EFF says.

  • Airport securityScreening Masked Faces at Airports: 96% Accuracy in Recent Test

    A controlled scenario test by the DHS S&T shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks.

  • Face masksFace Masks Change the Way We Process Faces

    Ever want to walk over to say hello to someone but you’re not sure the person behind the mask is in fact someone you know? Researchers say you’re not alone.

  • ID during COVIDIdentity Verification in the Age of COVID-19

    Face masks have become a way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We now wear them nearly everywhere we go—at grocery stores, on public transportation, in schools, at work—any situation that requires us to be around others. But what about at places that require a higher level of security, like airports?

  • ID during COVIDFace Recognition Software Improving in Recognizing Masked Faces

    A new study of face recognition technology created after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that some software developers have made demonstrable progress at recognizing masked faces.