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Privacy Commissioner mulls biometrics code of practice

By RNZ
This story was originally published on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.
Fri, 16th Dec 2022

The Privacy Commissioner is looking into whether the use of biometrics needs to be regulated by a new code of practice.

Biometrics - such as a person's face, iris or fingerprint - are increasingly being used to verify identities online and for surveillance, both by governments and companies.

Globally, regulation is running behind the pace of new, more invasive tech, in such sensitive areas as education and healthcare.

Commissioner Michael Webster said 100 submitters to a review of regulations here broadly agreed more needed to be done to protect people's privacy.

"There was particular concern from Māori about the potential for discriminatory impacts."

Most submitters thought a code or more guidance would be helpful, Webster said on Thursday.

"It is fair to say there were mixed views on the most appropriate type of intervention, but what was clear is that something more needs to be done."

He will decide next year, after a round of targeted consultation, about a code.

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