Should we ban facial recognition? Institute urges members to take action

The Biometrics Institute has produced a report asking, should we ban facial recognition?

Why this paper is important:

  • The Biometrics Institute promotes the use of biometrics but only if used responsibly and ethically
  • Biometrics are complex, different use cases present different levels of risk which need to be assessed, planned and managed carefully
  • Using biometrics responsibly, requires informed decision-making. The institute provides unique tools like the Three Laws of Biometrics, its Good Practice Framework and Privacy Guidelines to work through the decision-making process
  • The institute is well placed to provide these tools and accompanying guidance as the independent and impartial international membership organisation representing a diverse multi-stakeholder community

Through consultation with its expert group and Advisory Council members, and by listening to its diverse global membership, the institute has explored the different viewpoints on this topic.

The institute is writing to regulators and legislators in the US, UK and Australia, asking them to consider the content of the paper and draw on the expertise within the Biometrics Institute as they make their recommendations.

The international membership organisation has also urged its members and wider community to read this report and take action:

  1. Share and discuss with their colleagues and peers
  2. Ask whether their policies and processes are alleviating or adding to the problem
  3. Take action accordingly: share their successes to promote the responsible use of biometrics, OR find out how to identify your risk gaps through the Biometrics Institute’s good practice documents

Isabelle Moeller, chief executive of the Biometrics Institute says, ‘Issues around privacy and human rights continue to disrupt the biometrics space. It’s essential that organisations make informed decisions about when and how to use the technology. Knowing how to identify and mitigate the risks is now critical for the future of the industry. If we cannot demonstrate to the public how we use and implement biometrics responsibly, how can we expect them to trust us?’




Notes to editors:

The Biometrics Institute is the independent and impartial international membership organisation for biometric users and other interested parties. It was established in 2001 to promote the responsible use of biometrics and has offices in London and Sydney.

With more than a thousand members from 240 membership organisations spread across 30 countries, it represents a global and diverse multi-stakeholder community. This includes banks, airlines, government agencies, biometric experts, privacy experts, suppliers and academics.

The Biometrics Institute connects the global biometrics community. It shares knowledge with its members and key stakeholders and most importantly, develops good-practices and thought leadership for the responsible and ethical use of biometrics.

For more information, please email Claire Fox Baron:


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