Ross Participates in BBC Panel on Face Recognition

Arun Ross, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University, was one of 4 panelist in a BBC Newshour Extra program titled "Facing the Future". The panel was moderated by British journalist Owen Bennett Jones. The other panelists were Clare Garvie (Georgetown University Center on Privacy and Technology), Tony Smith (Former head of UK border security) and Josh Chin (Wall Street Journal reporter in China). The panel discussed the advancements made in automated face recognition and its implication on personal privacy. Ross' comments focused on the need for implicitly incorporating privacy considerations into face recognition algorithms. He said, "Privacy must not be an afterthought; it must be taken into account during the design of face recognition algorithms." He emphasized that Privacy and Biometrics are not necessarily at odds with each other, as is commonly assumed. In this regard, he discussed his lab's work on imparting privacy to face images through a controlled "de-identification" process. The panelists also discussed the abuse of biometric technology by certain governments, organizations and commercial enterprises. The panel concluded that collaboration between biometric researchers, legal scholars, security experts, privacy advocates and legislators would be essential to ensure that the massive advances in face recognition technology are judiciously used for the benefit of society.

The podcast can be accessed at:

Ross' papers on this topic can be accessed at:


(Date Posted: 2017-08-22)