What rules for facial recognition technology uses? 18 December 20 Elena Scaramuzzi

Facial recognition technology advanced considerably in the past few years, thanks to the advancements in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The use of this technology has become strategically important in many fields, with an increasing number of applications and growth potential among consumers, businesses as well as governments.

According to a new global research by Cullen International, along with growing adoption, there has been a tendency to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in several parts of the world. For example, there is growing awareness of the privacy implications of the collection, use and sharing with third parties of biometric data.

Several countries, including  the EU member states, the UK, Australia, and South Africa have classified biometric data as sensitive data. The handling of sensitive personal information is subjected to additional restrictions, even more so if the purpose of the collection, processing and sharing of such data is a commercial one. In Singapore, biometric data is included under the scope of personal data in existing privacy laws, but is not granted a special status. In India, there is no privacy law yet, but specific rules are applicable to sensitive information (including biometric data).

Some governments around the world have invested in facial recognition technology to integrate digital identity systems with new digital services offered by the government. South Korea is a notable example. Here, the government employs facial recognition systems for customs and security clearance at airports. Facial recognition systems are widely applied in government offices in South Korea, particularly following a high-profile security breach in 2016. However, commercial uses are also very common in this country. Among the countries covered in the Cullen International study, Australia is also betting on a new digital identity system that integrates facial recognition technology to foster both public safety and innovation.

To access our full global research on artificial intelligence and facial recognition, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our Global Trends service.

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