Biometric Unsecurity

Fri September 04, 10:25 AM–11:20 AM • Back to program
Start time 10:25
End time 11:20
Countdown link Open timer

This talk discusses sensitive topics including: surveillance, human rights violations, contemporary racial and religious genocides, famine, wildfires, politics, protests and dissidence, racism, policing, violence, carceral systems, welfare systems, sexism, misgendering, stalking, ageism, religion, immigration and border control, disabilities, medical discrimination, COVID-19, mental health, other medical conditions, and terminal illness.

Biometrics are widely regarded by the public, and many developers, as heightened security. Their actual track record tells a very different story. Biometric technologies are systematically making the world a less safe place. We have an obligation to do something about that. And we can.

In this talk, you'll learn about the breathtaking range of biometrics being tracked and assessed. You'll learn about dangerously wrong conclusions being drawn. You'll learn about spurious underlying premises and untrustworthy training data, and widespread misuses that are determining life and death decisions in government, policing, and health monitoring.

Most importantly, you'll learn how to assess these technologies, and avoid contributing ito their development, misuse, and proliferation.

Examples are drawn from a globally geographically diverse range of areas.

Carina C. Zona she/her

Carina C. Zona is a developer, advocate, and certified sex educator. She spends a lot of time thinking about the unexpected cultural effects of our decisions as programmers.

Her talk "Biometric Unsecurity" will expand on themes explored in her PyconAu 2015 keynote, "Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm", to delve into how biometrics and are misunderstood, misrepresented, and misused for a wide range of harms that include human rights abuses.

Carina is also the founder of CallbackWomen, which is on a mission to radically increase gender diversity at the podium of professional programmers’ conferences.