FPF, Highmark Health, and CMU Host Wired for Health: 2020 — Examining Biometric Technologies in the Age of COVID-19


On Thursday, October 8th, Highmark Health, Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Security and Privacy Institute, and Future of Privacy Forum hosted a virtual symposium—taking an in-depth look at the role of biometrics and privacy in the COVID-19 era. 

During this virtual symposium, expert discussants and presenters examined the impact of biometrics and privacy in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. The world has changed. Today, keeping COVID-19 at bay is a top priority across our communities, throughout our country, and around the world. 

The full recording of the virtual symposium is available here: 

Presentations focused on emerging technology, covering advanced facial recognition systems, temperature scanning, and respiratory disease detection. Presenters included Dr. Anil Singh of the Allegheny Health Network and Satya Venneti, CTO and Co-founder of Telling.ai; Dr. Marios Savvides of the CyLab Biometrics Center at Carnegie Mellon University; and Dr. Yang Cai of the Visual Intelligence Studio at Carnegie Mellon University. 

The expert panel analyzed the privacy impacts of certain technologies, including the deployment of voice recognition and temperature sensing to identify disease symptoms associated with COVID-19. Panelists noted the inherent tensions within certain biometrics technologies, including the ethical and social dilemmas raised by public and private use. 

Panel discussants included: Dr. Lorrie Faith Craon, Director and Bosch Distinguished Professor of the CyLab Security and Privacy Institute at Carnegie Mellon University; Dr. Lisa Martinelli, Chief Privacy and Data Ethics Officer, Highmark Health; Dr. Rachele Hendricks-Sturrup, Health Policy Counsel, Future of Privacy Forum; Kirk Nahra, Partner, WilmerHale; and Jules Polonetsky, CEO, Future of Privacy Forum. 

We look forward to continuing this important conversation, with an in-person conference — Wired for Health 2021 — later next year.