Intelligent CISO Issue 55 - Page 60

University of Technology Sydney report offers blueprint for regulation of facial recognition technology

by people who are blind or have a vision impairment , making the world more accessible for those groups .
“ This report proposes a risk-based model law for facial recognition . The starting point should be to ensure that facial recognition is developed and used in ways that uphold people ’ s basic human rights .”
report from the University of


Technology Sydney ( UTS )
Human Technology Institute has outlined a model law for facial recognition technology to protect against the harmful use of this technology , but also foster innovation for public benefit .
Australian law was not drafted with the widespread use of facial recognition in mind . Led by UTS Industry Professors ; Edward Santow and Nicholas Davis , the report recommends reform to modernise Australian law , especially to address threats to privacy and other human rights .
Facial recognition and other remote biometric technologies have grown exponentially in recent years , raising concerns about privacy , mass surveillance and unfairness experienced , especially by people of colour and women , when the technology makes mistakes .
In June 2022 , an investigation by consumer advocacy group , CHOICE ,
revealed that several large Australian retailers were using facial recognition to identify customers entering their stores , leading to considerable community alarm and calls for improved regulation . There have also been widespread calls for reform of facial recognition law – in Australia and internationally .
This report responds to those calls . It recognises that our faces are special , in the sense that humans rely heavily on each other ’ s faces to identify and interact . This reliance leaves us particularly vulnerable to human rights restrictions when this technology is misused or overused .
“ When facial recognition applications are designed and regulated well , there can be real benefits , helping to identify people efficiently and at scale ,” said Professor Santow , the former Australian Human Rights Commissioner and now Co-director of the Human Technology Institute . “ The technology is widely used
“ The gaps in our current law have created a kind of regulatory market failure ,” said Professor Davis , a former member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and Co-director of the Human Technology Institute . “ Many respected companies have pulled back from offering facial recognition because consumers aren ’ t properly protected . Those companies still offering in this area are not required to focus on the basic rights of people affected by this tech .
“ Many civil society organisations , government and inter-governmental bodies and independent experts have sounded the alarm about dangers associated with current and predicted uses of facial recognition .”
This report calls on Australian Attorney- General , Mark Dreyfus , to lead a national facial recognition reform process . This should start by introducing a bill into the Australian Parliament based on the model law set out in the report .
The report also recommends assigning regulatory responsibility to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to regulate the development and use of this technology in the federal jurisdiction , with a harmonised approach in state and territory jurisdictions . u
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