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EU-CHINA: The international debate on policy of biometrics and international data sharing enlarges to Asia.

The RISE Consortium hosts the 3rd international conference - Hong Kong, 4-5 January 2010

4 January 2010 - 5 January 2010
Italy

In order to continue and enlarge to Asian actors the international dialogue on biometrics, data sharing, privacy and security issues already instigated by the two previous conferences held in Brussels (2005) and in Washington (2006), the EU funded initiative RISE (Rising pan-European and International Awareness on Biometrics and Security Ethics), will organize in China the 3rd International Conference on ethics and policies of biometrics, on the 4th and 5th of January 2010. This high level event will be hosted by the Biometric Research Centre of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, one of the most geographically and strategically attractive location in Asia.

The world has just entered the Asian Century. This is in short the idea proposed by the European Commission DG Research’s forward looking report “The world in 2025”, published this year with the contributions of experts in macroeconomics, demographics and politics. According to the EC analysis, in 2025 nearly two third of the world population will live in Asia. Before that year, China is forecasted to become the second world economic power, and the Asiatic continent the first producer and exporter in the world. Probably most impressive, if the recent trends continue, in 2025 the US and Europe will have lost their scientific and technological supremacy for the benefit of Asia, the main destination for the location of business for Research and Development. This well-known scenario leads to the strategic need for the European Union to build up and preserve a stronger relationship with China and other Asiatic States.

In order to continue and enlarge to Asian actors the international dialogue on biometrics, data sharing, privacy and security issues already instigated by the two previous conferences held in Brussels (2005) and in Washington (2006), the EU funded initiative RISE (Rising pan-European and International Awareness on Biometrics and Security Ethics), will organize in China the 3rd International Conference on ethics and policies of biometrics, on the 4th and 5th of January 2010. This high level event will be hosted by the Biometric Research Centre of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, one of the most geographically and strategically attractive location in Asia.

The Asian-Pacific biometric market is undergoing fast development and it is forecasted to robustly grow in the near future, due to the increased demand for more integrated security solutions from sectors such as education, law enforcement, immigration, healthcare, IT security and financial services. Government identity and e-passport programs have strongly contributed to the broad deployment of biometric technologies in Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan, China, South Korea and Vietnam.
In line with the growth of this market, great concerns on data protection and privacy issues have been raised and are expected to increase in the future. The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in Hong Kong has recently ordered a private company to stop collecting staffers’ fingerprint for attendance purposes and to destroy all existing fingerprint database, being such a practice considered excessive in relation to the Personal Data and Privacy Ordinance which came into force in 1996. Last June, Japanese immigration authorities have successfully detected four people trying to enter the country illegally by fooling the biometric identity system, trough fingerprints altered with surgery performed in China. Just two recent examples which contribute to the idea that the international dialogue on legal and ethical aspects of biometrics must be further developed and must include Asia, in order to be strategic and successful.

The 3rd International Conference on ethics and biometrics will take place at the HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY, on the 4th and 5th January 2010. Speakers will include EU and Chinese high profile authorities, stakeholders from industries, leading Universities and opinion leaders.

For further information, please visit the website of the event: http://www.comp.polyu.edu.hk/conference/iceb
Or contact:
Ms Silvia Venier silvia.venier@cssc.eu
RISE Secretariat
Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship
Dr Ajay Kumar csajaykr@comp.polyu.edu.hk
Hong Kong Conference Organizer
Biometric Research Centre of the HK Polytechnic University

About the RISE Project
RISE (Rising pan-European and International Awareness on Biometrics and Security Ethics) is a 36 month EU funded project which aims at setting up an international initiative to monitor ethical and policy issues raised by biometrics and security technologies. RISE aims to deepen, enlarge to Asian actors and ensure continuity to European and international dialogue already instigated by the two linked projects BITE (www.biteproject.org) and HIDE (www.hideproject.eu) and by the two previous conferences on ethics and biometrics organized by the EC DG Research and the US DHS Privacy Office respectively in 2005 and 2006. The RISE project will involve key European and international actors in an ongoing, policy-related, non-official, dialogue on privacy and ethics of biometrics and security technologies.
For further information, please visit the RISE website: www.riseproject.eu.

Keywords

biometrics, international data sharing