The New Face of Biometrics In The Era of Hacks, Fakes, Bans, and GANs
The New Face of Biometrics In The Era of Hacks, Fakes, Bans, and GANs


Despite expanding regulations, surveillance tech and Face ID deployments continue to grow geometrically. Countries such as the US, China, and the UK are leading the way, while the rest of the world is not far behind. Biometric data and algorithms are at the epicenter of a perfect storm, as rapid technological advances meet rising privacy concerns. At the one end, identification technology like face recognition can provide consumers both convenience and secure authentication. At the other end, biometric databases and infrastructure have become attractive targets for hackers. In a new twist, open source AI tools are now available that can help malicious actors manipulate face and voice data to create deep fakes. These fakes can be weaponized by rogue nation states for disinformation campaigns - to destabilize financial markets or manipulate elections.

Our panel will take a data-centric perspective on these topics. We will review the state of the art in face recognition technology and discuss where biometrics is headed. We will look at novel ways to secure biometric data, such as homomorphic encryption and leveraging the blockchain. And we will explore the role that deep learning is playing in both improving identification accuracy as well in fake news and cybersecurity.


Mark is the CEO and Co-founder of Smile Identity, a leading provider of digital authentication and KYC services across Africa. Smile’s facial recognition SDKs and ID verification APIs enable banks, telecoms and fintechs to confirm the true identity of any smartphone user with just a Smartselfie™. Previously, Mark led the Khosla Impact Fund, with investments in payments, solar, lending and ecommerce across Africa and India. He began his career in investment banking and venture capital in Silicon Valley at Bank of America and then Draper Fisher Jurvetson. He is passionate about the power of technology and entrepreneurship to transform emerging markets.

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