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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

Friday, May 18 • 10:30 - 11:45
Biometrics in governance: next big thing or ticking time-bomb?

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It may be well settled that biometric information like finger prints and facial scans offer more convenient authentication mechanisms than traditional passwords in modern computing devices, but whether this technology is suited for governance purposes is a whole other issue. While some believe that biometrics are the future when it comes to identity verification, others feel that if governments take to using biometrics this way, it would leave people vulnerable to serious security threats. Even as some governments are rolling out governance initiatives like unique identity cards featuring biometric components, there have been fears that central databases containing biometric information of an entire citizenry make prime targets for hacking, and that the failure rates inherent in the technology are simply too big to make it reliable for government use.
This panel will bring together a group of stakeholders to debate the opportunities and costs involved in using biometric technologies for governance purposes – particularly for national identity programs. The panel will go over known uses of biometrics in governance, weigh the benefits of the technology against costs, and determine whether the concerns surrounding its use in governance are justified. During the first 5 minutes of the session, the moderator will introduce the topic and the panelists, after which each panelist will present their views for 8 to 10 minutes each. This will be followed by a round of questions from the moderator to the panel, and the remaining time will be reserved for interactions with the audience.

avatar for Renata Avila

Renata Avila

Senior Digital Rights Advisor, World Wide Web Foundation - Public Citizen Consultant
Renata Avila, (Guatemalan), is an international Human Rights lawyer, specialising in the next wave of technological challenges to preserve and advance our rights, and better understand the politics of data and their implications on trade, democracy and society. She is a 2020 Stanford... Read More →
avatar for Nighat Dad

Nighat Dad

Founder and Director, Digital Rights Foundation
avatar for Gawain Morrison

Gawain Morrison

CEO, Sensum
Gawain Morrison is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sensum, builders of empathic technology for smart mobility, people & places. He has led the company to become world-leaders at measuring & understanding emotions 'in the wild', where people live their lives. Sensum has worked with some... Read More →

Friday May 18, 2018 10:30 - 11:45 EDT