“Facial biometrics technology can empower businesses and government agencies with a safe and holistic solution while continuing to safeguard civil liberties and human privacy rights; one is not exclusive of the other.” – Avi Golan, CEO, Oosto
The White House recently posted a request for public comment concerning the use of biometrics for identification, and Oosto is now responding enthusiastically in the form of an open letter.
The White House request was issued in the form of an RFI posted on the Federal Register, in which the Office of Science and Technology Policy asked for input on the “use of biometric technologies for the purposes of identity verification, identification of individuals, and inference of attributes including individual mental and emotional states.” The OSTP explained that it was seeking to understand how these technologies are being deployed and what kinds of principles and policies are guiding their use (among other things), both on the part of private and public deployments.
Oosto has responded in the form of an open letter, signed by CEO Avi Golan, that emphasized Oosto’s efforts to serve societal interests through deployments tailored to different social contexts.
“It is critical that government leaders recognize the power of visual AI to save and sustain lives,” Golan wrote. “Visual AI today is often misunderstood or misrepresented… Facial biometrics technology can empower businesses and government agencies with a safe and holistic solution while continuing to safeguard civil liberties and human privacy rights; one is not exclusive of the other.”
The letter represents Oosto’s latest effort to emphasize the importance of ethical frameworks in the deployment of biometric technology and facial recognition in particular. In an open letter to UK’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner last year, Golan stressed the importance of ensuring that any law enforcement agency’s use of biometrics is not based on a pre-populated database provided by a vendor; and that was followed with an open letter celebrating the Australian Information Commissioner’s ruling against Clearview AI, which has become notorious for its facial recognition platform’s privacy violations.
Oosto has also previously emphasized the need for regulatory guidelines concerning such technologies, a theme that came up again in the company”s latest open letter.
“As a world-leading firm in this space, we encourage regulators to conduct thoughtful due diligence in order to provide meaningful guidance and an appropriate legal framework regulating the use of biometrics in context-specific scenarios,” Golan wrote. “Moreover, we need a cohesive national policy for the ethical use of facial recognition vs. a patchwork quilt of differing state-level regulations which make commercial compliance challenging.”
Oosto’s latest public comments come after a senior advisor with Softbank reaffirmed the tech-focused VC investor’s commitment to Oosto at a recent conference, reflecting enthusiasm for the company’s principled development and deployment of biometric technology.
January 19, 2022 – by Alex Perala