‘Security vs Privacy’ OR ’Security & Privacy’

‘Security vs Privacy’ OR ’Security & Privacy’

by Hitoshi Kokumai


Police facial recognition surveillance court case starts https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48315979 )

I am interested in what is not referred to in the linked BBC report. That is, the empirical rate of target suspects not getting spotted (False Non-Match) when 92% of 2,470 potential match was wrong (False Match).

 The police could have gathered such False Non-Match data in the street just easily and quickly by getting several cops acting as suspects, with some disguised with cosmetics, glasses, wigs, beards, bandages, etc. as many of the suspects are supposed to do when walking in the street.

 Combining the False Match and False Non-Match data, they would be able to obtain the overall picture of the performance of the AFR (automated face recognition) in question.

 1.   If the AFR is judged as accurate enough to correctly identify a person at a meaningful probability, the AFR could be viewed as a serious 'threat' to privacy’ in democratic societies as civil-rights activist fear. This scenario is very unlikely, though, in view of the figure of 92% for false spotting.

 2.   If the AFR is judged as inaccurate enough to wrongly misidentify a person at a meaningful probability as we would suspect it is, we could conclude not only that deploying AFR is just waste of time and money but also that a false sense of security brought by the misguided excessive reliance on AFR could be a ‘'threat' to security’.

 Incidentally, should the (2) be the case, we could extract two different observations.

 (A)  It could discourage civil-rights activists - It is hardly worth being called a 'threat' to our privacy - it proving only that he may be or may not be he and she may be or may not be she, say, an individual may or may not be identified correctly

 (B)  It could do encourage civil-rights activists - It debunks the story that AFR increases security so much that a certain level of threats-to- privacy must be tolerated. 

It would be up to civil-rights activists which view point to take.

Anyway, various people could get to different conclusions from this observation. I would like to see some police conduct the empirical False Non-Match research in the street as indicated above, which could solidly establish whether “AFR is a threat to privacy though it may help security” or “AFR is a threat to both privacy and security”.


About the Author

Hitoshi Kokumai is the inventor of Expanded Password System that enables people to make use of episodic image memoriesfor intuitive and secure identity authentication. He has kept raising the issue of wrong usage of biometrics with passwords and the false sense of security it brings for 16 years. Mnemonic Security Inc. was founded in 2001 by Hitoshi Kokumai for promoting Expanded Password System. Following the pilotscale operations in Japan, it is seeking to set up the global headquarters.


The article has been originally published at author's LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/security-vs-privacy-hitoshi-kokumai/


May 28, 2019

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