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It was found final month {that a} South Korean authorities venture has been offering tens of millions of facial photos taken at Incheon International Airport to personal trade with out the consent of these photographed. Several civic teams referred to as this a “shocking human rights disaster” in a 9 Nov press convention, and formally requested that the venture be cancelled. In response, the federal government has solely promised that “the project would be conducted at a minimum level to ensure personal information is not abused”. These teams at the moment are planning a lawsuit to problem the venture.

Facial data and different biometric knowledge aren’t simply altered and are distinctive to the people involved. If this knowledge have been to be leaked, it might represent a devastating infringement upon their privateness. It’s extraordinary for state organizations — whose obligation it’s to handle and management facial recognition know-how — at hand over biometric data collected for public functions to a private-sector firm for the event of know-how.

The program itself wasn’t secret, and had been publicly introduced again in 2019. But the venture’s scope and implementation weren’t made clear till a lawmaker just lately requested paperwork on the venture from the accountable authorities businesses. The system, referred to as the Artificial Intelligence and Tracking System Construction Project, was a pilot program set to run till 2022. Its objectives have been to simplify the safety and immigration screening of passengers, enhance airport safety, and to advertise the native AI trade in South Korea. If the venture proves profitable, the plan is to develop it to different airports and ports within the nation.

Current techniques on the airport do one-to-one facial recognition. For instance, they attempt to decide whether or not the face of the individual presenting a passport matches the picture within the passport. The purpose of this new venture was to develop one-to-many matching algorithms, which may match one face in opposition to the plethora of faces in an airport, observe the motion of a face throughout the airport, and flag “suspicious” actions which could possibly be a safety concern.

The teams protesting the venture be aware that the gathering and sharing of those photos with out the vacationers’ consent is prohibited by the Personal Information Protection Act, the South Korean regulation which governs such issues. Under this act, a venture like this may ordinarily require consent of the individuals. But the federal government’s interpretation depends on an exception within the act, particularly, Article 15 Section 3, which states:

A private data controller could use private data with out the consent of an information topic throughout the scope fairly associated to the preliminary function of the gathering

Basically they’re saying that for the reason that photos have been collected on the safety and immigration checkpoints, and that the venture will probably be utilizing them to enhance the safety and immigration checkpoints, no consent is required.

  • Foreigners: 120 million people, face picture, nationality, gender, age
  • Korean residents: 57.6 million people, face picture, nationality, gender, age
  • Other: unknown variety of people, photos and movies of atypical habits and vacationers in movement

The breakdown of the numbers above reveals that 57 million Korean residents are within the knowledge set, a bit shocking to many for the reason that assortment of biometric knowledge on Korean residents at immigration is prohibited by regulation. The venture circumvented this by solely gathering knowledge from residents who take part within the automated Smart Entry service, a voluntary program which makes use of fingerprints and facial recognition. It’s attention-grabbing to notice that the variety of passengers utilizing Incheon airport since May 2019 (this system was introduced 30 Apr 2019) is just 62 million, so the common passenger seems roughly thrice within the knowledge set.

Are there any related applications in your area? How do they deal with the problem of consent, if in any respect? Let us know within the feedback under.

[Banner image: “Customer uses facial recognition as identification at TSA security checkpoint” by DeltaNewsHub, CC BY 2.0 — Yes, it’s from another country with similar problems, but much less public outcry. Discuss in the comments!]

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