The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the second stage of its framework for responsible use of facial recognition technology (FRT).
Responsible Limits on Facial Recognition, Use Case: Flow Management aims to build a new level of transparency and trust among users.
Facial recognition technology (FRT) creates a range of socially beneficial uses, mostly through enhanced authentication and identification processes, such as unlocking a smartphone, boarding a plane and accessing online public services. It has also come under increasing scrutiny, however, for potentially undermining privacy, misidentifying people, perpetuating systemic racism and contributing to surveillance infrastructure.
WEF said in a statement that, so far, the response from policy-makers has predominantly focused on banning the use of FRT to prevent any harm. Kay Firth-Butterfield, head of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, World Economic Forum, highlighted that during the global Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of industry actors are considering deploying facial recognition to improve their flow management processes.
“Yet this comes with various risks for customers and citizens alike,” she said. “This is the first global multi-stakeholder effort to mitigate these risks effectively.”
The forum has focused on FRT for passengers boarding aircraft, working with key industry players in the field. The framework is composed of actionable rules to help transport companies implement the technology responsibly. The toolkit guides organisations through a list of 10 principles for action. The audit framework, run by third-party certification organisations, can build a new level of transparency and trust among end-users and stakeholders.
Tokyo-Narita Airport tested this assessment questionnaire, which is part of the toolkit. “Narita International Airport is delighted to be the first airport to test the self-assessment questionnaire and achieve an additional level of trust from local and global passengers through this initiative,” added Hideharu Miyamoto, senior executive officer, Narita International Airport, Japan. “We encourage other airports to adopt this framework as part of our collective effort to build transparency with passengers about our use of FRT.”
The framework has been co-designed with key players from the transportation industry, such as Tokyo-Narita Airport, Paris Airport (Groupe ADP) and SNCF (France’s national state-owned railway company), and leading tech companies like NEC and IDEMIA, as well as policy-makers from Japan, France and the European Union.
“Co-designing the first audit management system for FRT has been both incredibly challenging and rewarding when we consider the stakes for the transportation industry,” said Julien Nizri, managing director, AFNOR Certification.
“We’re confident in our ability to restore passengers’ trust in air and train travel through our third-party certification and invite industry actors interested in being certified to contact us.”