HIDE is a project promoted by the European Commission (EC) and coordinated by the Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship, an independent research centre based in Rome (IT).
HIDE aims to establish a platform devoted to monitoring the ethical and privacy implications of biometrics and personal detection technologies. Detection technologies are technologies used to detect something or someone within a security or safety context. Personal Detection Technologies focus specifically on individuals, they include for example CCTV, infrared detectors and thermal imaging, GPS and other Geographical Information Systems (GISs), RFID, MEMS, smart ID cards, transponders, body scanners, etc. Biometrics is the application of technologies that make use of a measurable, physical characteristic or personal behavioural trait in recognizing the identity, or verifying the claimed identity of a previously registered individual.
Personal detection technologies and biometrics are increasingly interwoven within a variety of applications. Most of these applications seek to create sensor network infrastructures for continuous detection, authentication and identification of individuals within diverse settings ranging from, amongst others, commercial, transport, public locales and border control. Moreover, by developing multimodal signal analyses, these technologies may allow activity recognition, indoor movement monitoring and non-verbal communication cues (body language, facial expressions, speech intonation, etc) which may assist in the prediction of behaviour. In its recent Green Paper on Detection Technologies, the EC argues that personal detection technologies and biometrics are “inherently intrusive” and “their use needs to be carefully analyzed, in order to establish limitations to their intrusiveness where necessary”. HIDE meets this call and promotes open conversation between technology, security, ethics and policy experts as well as encouraging public discussions and dialogue. HIDE is based on the values of dialogue, responsibility, and integrity.