The rapid advance of biometrics, in particular facial recognition technology, across sub-Saharan Africa could help fight fraud, corruption and criminal activity on a dramatic scale. Biometric authentication has been fast-tracked as the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing brings new ways of working.
Yet concerns about accuracy, racial profiling and the potential for abuse have forced several global IT giants to restrict the use of their technology. Do African states have sufficient safeguards to protect against the technology’s arbitrary use as a tool of mass surveillance?
Chair: Karen Allen, Senior Research Advisor, Emerging Threats in Africa, ISS Pretoria
Dr Brett Van Niekerk, University of KwaZulu Natal
Renee Cummings, Criminologist and AI consultant
Gur Geva, CEO of iiDENTIFii, a South African facial authentication company