RISE Meeting in Washington, DC Results in an International Interest Group to Deepen Discussions on Biometrics and Security

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The RISE Preparatory Meeting in Washington DC, hosted by the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET), resulted in setting up a multilateral interest group involving the US administration in the international dialogue on biometrics, data sharing, privacy and security issues already initiated by earlier RISE conferences and workshops.

On 5-6 May 2011, the EU funded initiative RISE (Rising pan‐European and International Awareness on Biometrics and Security Ethics) held a meeting in Washington DC, hosted and organized by the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET). The main focus of the meeting was to continue the international dialogue already initiated by earlier conferences and workshops on ethics and biometrics, as well as to discuss the establishment of an international interest group and to prepare the agenda for the 4th and final RISE International Conference to be held on December 1-2, 2011 in Brussels (if you are interested in participating please contact Silvia Venier – silvia.venier(at)cssc(dot)eu ).

This high-level meeting resulted in a deeper understanding of global issues related to data protection and privacy and included roundtable discussions on biometrics and security in global perspective, emerging issues in biometrics and policy, emerging global policy questions, and security, privacy and ethics. Guest speakers included Mr. Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor and Mary Ellen Callahan, CPO at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Stewart Baker, former Assistant Secretary for Policy, DHS, Duane Blackburn, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Robert Mocny, Director of US-VISIT Program, DHS, Rene von Schomberg, European Commission, and Jay Stanley of the ACLU, amongst others.

“The meeting provided for a lively and provocative exchange into a number of key policy matters of data protection and privacy. There was a rigorous exploration of the differences, as well as commonalities in these areas between the US and the EU, and it was clear that there was a strong basis formed for ongoing dialogue,” noted GSI Managing Director, Kush Wadhwa.

Nigel Cameron, President of C-PET indicated that “we were delighted with the high level of engagement from government and private sector participants, especially participation from the White House and Department of Homeland Security. C-PET’s focus on engaging the long-term impacts of emerging technologies meshes perfectly with the aims of RISE and the Washington conference offered a powerful illustration of the value of roundtable engagement of these potent issues.”

The RISE Consortium is comprised of ten partners from across the European Union, Asia, and the United States. Previous workshops and conferences have examined security issues related to “individual identification” in regards to border control and national ID programs, as well examined the “movement of people and goods” pertaining to international airport and port authority concerns. Presentations from previous RISE events can be found on the RISE website at (http://www.riseproject.eu), and presentations from this event will be posted there in the near future.

About C-PET
C-PET is a knowledge network Asking Tomorrow’s Questions based in Washington, DC. The compounding effects of emerging technologies will radically re-shape the future of human societies, yet the exponential changes they are driving are rarely at the top of the concerns of policymakers. While there is uncertainty as to the speed, direction, and desirability of such changes, their social and personal implications will be far-reaching. The scientific and business communities, like government and the public, share a common interest in engaging in critical evaluation of these developments and seeking policy approaches that are broad-based, transparent, and where possible build consensus. C-PET’s approach is to focus on identifying, clarifying, and prioritizing Tomorrow’s Questions.

About Global Security Intelligence
Global Security Intelligence performs integrative research for secure and autonomous living, taking a holistic approach to understanding how current and emerging technologies impact individuals, organisations, and governments. GSI works within both the public and the private sectors, providing services related to technical (biometrics and complementary technologies, such as smart cards, surveillance technologies, RFID, etc.), operational, economic, cultural, and ethical challenges common to security initiatives. GSI’s work in this area also includes an emphasis on the application of Privacy Impact Assessment methodology to aid in the development of systems that effectively address issues of data protection.

About the RISE Project
The RISE (Rising pan-European and International Awareness of Biometrics and Security Ethics) project is a 6-month Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded under FP7, SP-4 Capacities, Grant agreement number: 230389, which aims to promote pan-European and international awareness on ethical aspects of biometrics and security technologies. RISE's framing point is the new political landscape created by the Treaty of Lisbon of the European Union. The EU is now on the verge of a multifaceted reform of its decision-making rules for security which may have deep ethical and political implications. RISE will address these issues.

The RISE consortium includes the project coordinator, the Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship (IT) and project partners, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GR), Biometric Research Centre (CHINA), Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (US), Cesagen (UK), Global Security Intelligence (US), European Biometric Forum (IR), NASSCOM - DSCI (INDIA), the University of Tartu (EE), and the National ChengChi University of Taiwan.


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Nancy Baker
Global Security Intelligence
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