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The Importance of Being Earnest:

Biometrics, Privacy, and Data


Protection
CONFERENCE
P R E S E R V I N G P R I VA C Y I N A N A G E O F
INCREASED SURVEILLANCE A BIOMETRICS
PERSPECTIVE
L O N D O N , O C TO B E R 1 9 , 2 0 1 5
EMILIO MORDINI
RESPONSIBLE TECHNOLOGY

What is privacy?

CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS


OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Article 7

Article 8

Respect for private and family life

Protection of personal data

Everyone has the right to


respect for his or her
private and family life,
home and communications

1.

2.

3.

Everyone has the right to the


protection of personal data
concerning him or her.
Such data must be processed
fairly for specified purposes and
on the basis of the consent of the
person concerned or some other
legitimate basis laid down by law.
Everyone has the right of access
to data which has been collected
concerning him or her, and the
right to have it rectified.
Compliance with these rules shall
be subject to control by an
independent authority

ADVANTAGES IN DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN PRIVACY &


PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

1) More efficacy in protecting


both
2) More reliable impact
assessment
3) Less costs because
protection can be fine-tuned

Respect for private life, home, and


communications

PRIVACY

Privacy
What is privacy?

Etymologically the word


derives from the Latin
privatus, past participle of
privo, I deprive, I cut
away. Privacy thus refers
to the state of something
that is separated, secluded
from others. It refers to the
state of being set apart,
belonging to oneself, in
contrast to the state of
being public or common

THE 3 ROOTS OF PRIVACY


Scholars have created endless
lists of privacy types, very
often redundant and too vast
to be truly helpful.
The notion of privacy has
instead three main roots,
1) Biological
2) Religious
3) Political

Biological Roots
THE SPACE SORROUNDING
INDIVIDUALS

Territoriality
The notion of territory is

crucial to understand the


behavior of many animal
species. Animals tend to have
outside boundaries of their
movement during the course
of their everyday activities,
these boundaries describe an
area which is called by
biologists home range.
Moreover some animals,
called territorial, show also
a peculiar attitude to defend
an area of territory around
them, which is usually smaller
than their home range.

Animal studies
What happens when animals are

deprived of their own territory?


Studies of overcrowding, population
limitation mechanisms have been
carried out in a number of animal
species. There are little doubts that
among most mammalians, and
notably amongst primates, the need
to maintain a certain degree of
independence is essential. One
basic finding of animal studies is
that virtually all animals seek
periods of individual seclusion of
small-group intimacy. Most studies
provide evidence that crowding may
act as an intensifier of stressful
condition, and, under extreme
conditions, can itself induce stress
reactions or pathological behavior

The biological space around humans

Would privacy be the right to be left alone?

Isolation
Isolation is much more pathological
than overcrowding. Since the
1950s, experiments have been
conducted on persons in conditions
of extreme solitude and reduced
sensory stimuli (e.g. isolated
prisoners, spaceship crews, polar
explorers, patients hospitalized in
burn units, etc). It has been
observed that such persons
unavoidably tend to develop minor
signs of temporal disorientation,
which are usually followed if the
isolation persists - by hallucinatory
sensations, delusive ideation,
and/or structural delusions.

Prisoners
Research on the condition of

prisoners or hostages held in


solitary confinement reveal
brain abnormalities and other
physiological consequences
(heart palpitations, insomnia,
diaphoresis, weight loss, to
cite a few) as well as strong
negative psychological effects
(symptoms linked to the areas
of anxiety, depression, anger,
cognitive disturbances,
paranoia and psychosis).

Maternal isolation of children from birth


The most infamous experiment dates back
to the 13th century saw and was reported
the monk Salimbene di Adam in his
Chronicles.
The experiment was carried out by Holy
Roman Emperor Frederick II in young
infants. Fredrick asked "foster-mothers
and nurses to suckle and bathe and wash
the children, but in no ways to prattle or
speak with them; for he would have learnt
whether they would speak the Hebrew
language (which had been the first), or
Greek, or Latin, or Arabic, or perchance the
tongue of their parents of whom they had
been born. But he laboured in vain, for the
children could not live without clappings of
the hands, and gestures, and gladness of
countenance, and blandishments."

Privacy is the Right to select with whom one stays

The right to be left alone


expresses with a nice
slogan the concept the
each one of us has the
right to select those with
whom he wants to stay.

Religious Roots
THE HOLY PLACE

Place and Space


Ancient Greek (Plato and Aristotle):
chra and topos.
Place is a part of the terrestrial
surface that is not equivalent to any
other, that cannot be exchanged
with any other without everything
changing. Instead with space [place
as location]each part can be
substituted for another without
anything being altered, precisely
how when two things that have the
same weight are moved from one
side of a scale to another without
compromising the balance.
(Farinelli, F. ,2003, Geografia.
Unintroduzione ai modelli del mondo.
Turin: Einaudi).

The notion of the well ordered


sacred space has deep religious
roots.
God creates the world (cosmos)
from a formless state, (Greek
khaos) or from an empty
abyss (Biblical Hebrew,

, Tohu wa bohu). As the
god creator, or the demiurge,
creates the world out from an
indeterminate non-being,
similarly the ancients separated
space into sacred, restricted
zones and everyday, public
spaces.

Sacred Places
Originally the word sacred
meant to be cut away, to be
separated.
The Latin Templum and the
Greek Temenos were areas
that were specifically cut off
and declared inviolable.

Private Places
In a the context of Roman
family law, the Latin
language expresses this same
concept by using the verb,
privo.
Sacred and private then share
a similar etymological origin.
They both describe secluded
areas, which are exclusive
property either of a god
(sacred) or a lord (private).

HOME FAMILY PRIVATE PLACE


The relationship between the
concept of privacy and old
cosmogonies is still echoed
by the so called, Castle Law (a
mans home is his castle),
which equates territorial
inviolability to privacy.

The Private Place is Your Own Place

Political Roots
WHAT IS NOT BUSINESS OF
THE STATE

Private vs Public
In the Greek civilization then private realm
was the womens realm, the maternal
kingdom. This private realm (oikia), which
included women, children, slaves and
foreigners, was the place where the woman
was accorded normative priority over males.
When a man belonged to the maternal
kingdom, to the private sphere, he became
idios, which means ones own. Idiotes were
private persons, individuals without any part
in private affairs. The negative sense carried
out by this word remains in modern
languages, as in the word idiot in English.
Greeks had also two words to describe the
public. One was still negative, the word
demios, which precisely means having to do
with the people, in the sense of vulgar
persons, populace. Yet a second word for
public had a highly positive sense, say, the
word koinos, which literally means what is
shared by friends.

Privacy as the inner world

According to Luther, we have to


understand ourselves as each living "in two
worlds over which different kings and
different laws preside", the outer world,
the civil kingdom, and the inner world, the
spiritual kingdom. Each of us in the outer
realm is involved in having to deal with
other men and women, in the organization
of society, in matters that demand human
obedience. We live there under the
pressure of laws laid down by legitimate
external authorities. But always at the
same time we live inwardly under another
constraint. We live in debate with God
alone. In the "inner forum of conscience
we ourselves have to make the greatest
decisions of life alone, in complete privacy
and lonely personal responsibility before
God.

Privacy and Surveillance


The Reformation extended the

Benedictine rule (Ora et


labora) to daily life,
universalized monastic discipline
and surveillance. The
Reformation demanded of
ordinary Christians that they
attended to their salvation. Each
individual assumed on himself
the disciplinary role, which was
previously reserved to the clerical hierarchy. Rather than
disciplinary imposition from the
authorities, discipline was
turned inward, the external
authority was internalized.

The liberal notion of privacy


The idea of inner forum of

conscience, generated the idea


that each one is intimately free.
The idea of private place,
becomes the notion of internal
liberty
One is free because the state
does not infringe his own private
places, which are home, family
and mind (the three interior
areas).
If you intercept communication,
you infringe the borders of the
three interior places.

Respecting Privacy

1) Respecting biological

integrity (bodily,
psychological, social)
2) Respecting intimacy and
dignity
3) Respecting liberty

Privacy Offence

Intrusiveness
Humiliation
Constriction

Intrusive Biometrics

Humiliating Biometrics

Constriction

Bureaucracy

A new kind of valued items

PERSONAL DATA
PROTECTION

The three great revolutions

The Neolithic Revolution


The Industrial Revolution
The Digital Revolution

Neolithic Revolution
New agricultural

technology
Agricultural revolution &
Urban revolution
The birth of the monetary
system: money as a
medium of exchange, unit
of account, and store of
value.
Animals, vegetables, and
manufacts become
commodities

Industrial Revolution

The mechanical clock (mid

1300): the time is divided


into measurable beats
Land and Labour become
commodities

A new good: land

A new good: labour

The DIGITAL REVOLUTION

A new commodity: data

INFORMATION IS TURNED INTO DATA

Information becomes

measurable and it becomes


a commodity

The datification of the world


Thanks to technology

innovation we are
increasingly able to turn
everything into meaningful
data
In other words, there is
almost no longer
qualitative information but
only quantitative
information, say, data.

Personal Data

Personal Data Protection


It is very similar to the birth

of first commercial rules


related the introduction of a
monetary system, or to the
birth of a legal protection for
land ownership, or the birth
of the legal system for
industrial worker protection.
In other words, it is the birth
of the normative framework
related to a new class of
commodities.

Biometric Personal Data


Biometric data is always

personal data
Yet are biometrics always
also sensitive data?
According to the proposed
reform of the EU Privacy
and DP Directive,
biometrics should be
always protected as
sensitive data

Biometric data includes very different data categories

Protecting Personal Data should be fine tuned on each specific


biometric application
It is important to analyze for
each application,
1) What biometric samples are
collected and their potential
for revealing sensitive
details
2) Whether the system retains
and stores also raw images
or only templates
3) Whether the system is
multimodal and/or
multibiometric
4) Where templates are stored
5) Whether templates are
encrypted

A Legal Case
On 3 November, a court in Virginia
Beach (VA, US) ruled that a defendant
can be forced to give up his fingerprint,
but not his passcode, to allow police to
unlock his mobile phone
(Commonwealth of Virginia v. David
Charles Baust Docket No.: CR141439). As per the Virginia court
decision, biometrics was not protected
by the privilege against selfincrimination, which states that that
accused persons cannot be compelled
to incriminate themselves. This
principle, deeply rooted in most
Western legal systems, would not
apply to biometrics but applies to
passcodes.

Biometrics to Protect other Data


As biometrics are increasingly
used for data securitization
and protection, we are going to
be faced more and more with
an inherent contradiction
between the sensitiveness of
biometric data and the need to
make these data available for
law enforcement and forensic
purposes.
No society could afford a system
whereby citizens
generate their own private
codebooks, which are
unbreakable by authorities.

CONCLUSIONS
PRIVACY IS ABOUT
(1) BIOLOGICAL,

PSYCHOLOGICAL, SOCIAL
BORDERS;
(2) SACRALITY AND DIGNITY
OF THE PERSON;
(3) INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY
PROTECTING PRIVACY IS AN
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF ANY
DECENT SOCIETY

CONCLUSIONS
PERSONAL DATA

PROTECTION IS ABOUT
(1) A NEW COMMODITY;
(2) RELATED PROPERTY RIGHTS
AND VENDOR PROTECTION;
(3) THE OVERALL LEGAL
FRAMEWORK OF ITS USE
RULING PERSONAL DATA TRADE
AND PROTECTION IS A NEED OF
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

Questions?