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In the Face of IT: Exploring the future of biometrics in a post-Covid world

Date: Thursday 18th November 2021

Time: 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Venue: Online via Zoom

Faced with one of the most serious public health crises of our time, the Covid pandemic has only served to intensify the debate over the ethical and social implications presented by biometric technologies.

As governments around the world consider the options available to them to enable a return to some degree of normality, including assembling for large public events, biometrics could form part of the solution in the form of digital Covid-19 ‘vaccine passports’.

But what some consider an appropriate use of new technology, others call discriminatory with the prospect of national identity cards looming on the horizon. Coupled with the use of ‘smart surveillance’ enabled CCTV, these ID cards would impact civil liberty, reduce freedom of movement and potentially change behaviour in a way that CCTV on its own would not.

Such development increases the degree of compulsory visibility without consent and enlarges the State’s intrusion into peoples’ personal lives, that has become evident with ‘Track & Trace’.

Whilst such intrusion is not always harmful, accountability and transparency become paramount, especially if biometrics are to become universally accepted.

Join us as we discuss the impact of these new technologies on society and identify the key ethical issues which we all need to be considering as we move forward post-pandemic.

Guest speakers include Prof Fraser Sampson, the UK’s Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material.

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