• Just Security

Biometric Technologies Lead to Human Rights Concerns

December 20, 2021

[Image source: Security Info Watch]

Cited article by Tomaso Falchetta, Just Security


HRRC's Response:


Biometric technologies are increasingly being utilized across various industries, particularly in applications to border-control and counter-terrorism efforts. At the same time, these technologies pose a significant threat to human rights. Tomasa Falchetta, the author of the original article describes these concerns in three case studies: Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, and Somalia.


The first concern is that the use of biometric technologies, such as fingerprints and facial recognition, in conjunction with large-scale databases pose a significant threat to individual privacy. The second is that any new technology inevitably becomes utilized beyond its original purpose, and legal measures struggle to keep up with the speed at which technology advances and is used. Thirdly, the application of these technologies has a tendency to increase exclusionary actions on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, social classes, and other classifications. Lastly, governments are becoming more reliant on private sector businesses in order to implement these technologies.


HRRC is extremely concerned about the development of technologies that quickly outpace legal frameworks which ensure protection of human rights. While the development and advancement of biometric technologies are inevitable and can be beneficial, without oversight and established legal guidelines, they pose significant risks to individuals' right to privacy.