Debbie Reynolds “The Data Diva” talks to Peter Counter, Editor in Chief at FindBiometrics & Mobile ID World; Culture and Technology Writer. We discuss his experience as a trade journalist in technology topics, biometrics and the leading edge, simple BIPA compliance, BIPA simplicity and focus on human rights an the individual, problems with data collection and retention, AI needs to be balanced by human guidance, the Privacy, Identity and the Big Game Session of the Travel and Hospitality Biometrics Summit, trust is required for comfort with biometrics, benefits of consent in biometrics, managing the challenge of identity and authentication, biometrics in the workplace and bossware and his hope for Data Privacy in the future.Support the show
biometrics, people, identity, technology, talking, database, consent, companies, biometric data, data, person, typing, opt, called, terms, big, government, workplace, important, stadiums
Debbie Reynolds, Peter Counter
Debbie Reynolds 00:00
Personal views and opinions expressed by our podcast guests are their own and are not legal advice or official statements by their organizations. Hello, my name is Debbie Reynolds; they call me "The Data Diva". This is "The Data Diva" Talks Privacy Podcast where we discuss Data Privacy issues with industry leaders around the world with information that businesses need to know now. I'm excited to have a special guest on the show today, Peter Counter all the way from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Peter Counter 00:40
That's true. Thanks for having me here, Debbie. It's a pleasure.
Debbie Reynolds 00:43
So, Peter, you're the Editor-in-Chief of FindBiometrics and Mobile ID World. And you're a tech reporter, you're a novelist. You do so many cool, interesting things. But I would love for you to tell people about your journey in technology and how you came Editor-in-Chief of FindBiometrics.
Peter Counter 01:07
Absolutely. Thank you. Well, yeah, first of all, thanks for that. That lovely intro. It's so rare that people coalesce all of my identities into one.
Debbie Reynolds 01:18
Well, you're a complicated man of industry, right?
Peter Counter 01:23
Fair enough. So, I've been a trade journalist for over a decade working in the technology spaces, mostly b2b communications. But sometimes, you know, in mainstream outlets like the Vice imprint, Motherboard I've written for. And I've written about everything from satellites and aerospace to dark fiber and IoT back when people were calling it M2M, telematics like fleet management. And then, of course, biometrics. So I was just kind of, you know, nose to the grindstone hustling, working for tech portals like TMCnet. And right around the time just before Touch ID was announced the first Touch ID was announced on the iPhone, the creator and founder of FindBiometrics, Peter O'Neill, was looking for somebody to help with content for FindBiometrics at the time. And you know, we synced up I've always had a strong passion for the way that people can identify in digital spaces as a millennial; that's just what my entire life has been, has been finding new ways to take the Peter that is right here in the meatspace, and then putting him into the digital space, whether that's through ICQ, Messenger profiles, and MySpace to Facebook, and now, you know, through biometrics, etc. So, since 2013, I've been working with FindBiometrics and Mobile ID World, developing their content and growing out the team there. I have a really great editorial team, and we tackle everything we do. Interviews, podcasts, webinars, now we do virtual events. In 2020 we were acquired by a large US media company called EH Media. And now we're part of the ChannelPro Network. And that's how we were given the resources and capacity to do virtual events like the one that you actually recently participated in. And that's been really, really great because the mandate that we've had and we've been developing is to sort of leave the educational push when it comes to communicating identity, difficult identity ideas to business leaders, who need identity, need to solve their identity problems. So I hope that wasn't too long.
Debbie Reynolds 04:06
No, no, that's perfect. For me, I do a ton of research on technology and privacy issues. And when I want to know what's cutting edge, what's leading edge, what's coming next, and if it even existing, I always look to the folks who are doing the biometrics reporting. That is, what is next that people really are talking about? And as you said, about Touch ID, before that came out, it was just sort of pixie dust, right? But now, we've been many years and people are getting more comfortable with biometrics, and then we're seeing all these different applications of the way people are using biometrics. So tell me a bit about, you know, I have concerns. So the reason why I get involved in things with biometrics is because I guess self-concern or concern for myself or concern for humanity and what they're doing with the stuff. I know that biometrics isn't going to go away; it's only getting more ubiquitous and how we're using it. And then I want to see reasonable uses of biometrics, especially in the identity space. So give me your thoughts about that, in general.
Peter Counter 05:33
Yeah, well, I mean, I agree with you. I mean, I always operate from this idea of like, you know, this is a very intimate technology that we're dealing with. Yeah, it's cutting-edge. Yes. You know, if you've ever been to a government biometrics conference, you've seen a million clips of Tom Cruise in Minority Report, you know, switching out his eyeballs to avoid the privacy implications of biometric surveillance. But it really does come down to it's like, well, this is my body. And I'm putting that data online. And we can see in different regions, specifically, how powerful biometrics can be. And actually not just in other regions; you can see it in North America, as well as how powerful biometrics can be in terms of a control device. And so it is your right; I don't think it's going away. And I think that it's a complicated issue. I think everybody in the biometrics industry does agree, and we see the controversy that's out there. And we, I think, you know, from the position my own position, I think that a lot of, there's a lot of responsibility that comes to, comes with developing and deploying these technologies. And it really kind of comes down to understanding just how big of an umbrella biometrics are and the different applications of what is a pretty fundamental technology. So what do I mean when I say that you mentioned that, you know, biometrics are becoming mainstream, we're becoming more familiar with it, a big part of that does come back to that Touch ID. That Touch ID launched back in 2014. That was scary back then. A lot of people don't remember it because we all really love the convenience of opening our phones with our fingerprints or our faces, depending on what you have. But that was just around the time that the NSA was under a lot of scrutiny for the PRISM program, I believe. And there were, I believe, I think it was in a, it was in one of the big New York newspapers, there was an editorial cartoon, somebody using their Touch ID sensor, and then a big screen and an NSA office and they were like "got' em". But that was just the fundamental misunderstanding of how it worked. And it was just a new technology. And in the same way that people got used to putting their credit card numbers online, when E-commerce started taking off. Around the turn of the millennium, people started getting used to giving biometrics when they felt comfortable with it as a convenience factor. And when they thought that it was in their control of this as a security factor. When it comes down to the actual kind of scary applications, it's when people don't have that control. It's when their biometrics are being captured through another device. And I think there's sort of this, this fear of because of how easy that could potentially be and how it could really infringe on somebody's consent. So there's sort of two camps we have here; we have authentication for consumer uses. And that expands into other places we can talk about a little bit about later when it comes to like, all clocking in at work or, you know, using the biometric turnstile or something that you've opted into. And then you have things like law enforcement use of biometrics for surveillance and databases. And then somewhat more concerningly especially recently, because it's starting to come to light, that same sort of biometric surveillance application that's being used privately, which is obviously concerning for myriad reasons I could go into but yeah, so I think that there's sort of the two camps there. But it comes down to my take is privacy is incredibly important. Your body is your body and biometrics are your body. And so we have to be cognizant of that and all of the variety of nuances that come along with that.
Debbie Reynolds 10:08
Wow, that's great. I have a lot of questions. I would love to talk about you and I collaborated on a BIPA Biometric Information Privacy Act checklist. And it was great. You know, so you had great things to put on there. You and I collaborated there. And it was pretty funny. Because once we went through the scenarios, and we talked through stuff, and you're like, that's it like, yeah, that's it. It's not a difficult bill is, it's hard, it's hard to see people kind of really trip all over this, like, you know, I don't know, in a way, I feel like when people get in trouble for BIPA, it's like they've taken that AI or animal or automation too far, right. So it means a human check and balance there at some point because you know, the law is saying you shouldn't keep data for longer than is necessary. And there isn't an easy way to describe when that endpoint is, I feel like with technology, what are your thoughts?
Peter Counter 11:14
I think that that's true. And yeah, and thanks for mentioning that. If anybody listening wants to check it out, I think it's a really helpful resource. Because, again, you know, I've been writing about this for a really long time. And when we were talking about it, I was like, what I, because of the way people think about, it sounds like a towering monster that is ready to destroy your company. And really, they're just, you know, we have it down to seven things that you need to keep in mind. So that's it available at FindBiometrics.com/privacy. Very easy to find. So check that out. And before I get into this, Debbie, thank you again for consulting on that. It's very educational for me, but yeah, when it comes down to it, I really think that there's a fear that people have that they're going to run afoul of this law by accident. And that's fair. But that's also already in BIPA. If you have an infraction, so obviously, correct me if I'm wrong, but if as I understand it, you have an infraction, and you are unaware that you are, you can demonstrate that you were unaware that you were infringing upon the act, the penalty is, is lower. Obviously, it's a really severe consequence for people who do run afoul of it the statute of limitations right now, I believe it's five years. And you can be essentially sued for every single collection of biometric data there. So you can have hefty fines and everybody's seen these. So think there's, you know, new ones for the big AI companies, almost on a monthly if not weekly basis. They're, they're shocking numbers. But essentially, what it comes down to, it's sort of what I was speaking about before, is biometrics are a really, really powerful tool, you know, to take that example of Tom Cruise, taking his eyes out and then doing an eye transplant in the Isaac Asimov style future. You know, you can't alter your body. And I know that that's a controversial thing to say in the biometrics industry. So please don't scream at your phones right now, everybody; I understand that that doesn't mean like if you have your biometrics compromised for authentication, that you're just screwed. That's not the case. But it does mean that if somebody wants to associate your face with the PII that's on the Internet, then you're absolutely out of luck. Anyway, when it comes to BIPA, I think that it's debatable whether or not we need to address how harsh it is. But it's creating a really important conversation about what sort of limits we need to put on the use of these biometrics. Personally, I think that having to gain notice and consent in a long-term use case. You know, when we were speaking about it initially, when we were writing the checklist, there was this recent example of somebody of a medical locker that was protected by a fingerprint. And a nurse was suing her employer for every time that she had to use the biometric lock to open the cabinet. And I think at a certain point, if you are repeatedly using it, I think that you know, there maybe we don't have to scale it up every single time. But on the other hand, to make the person, the organization, or a party deploying biometrics have to ask tough questions like, why am I using biometrics in the first place? What information am I storing? How am I storing it? And how long am I going to store it? How long am I going to store that data is a difficult question? Because, as we are all intimately familiar with over the past two years, there are some things that you absolutely can't control in life, and you don't know what's going to happen. And when it comes to business opportunities, you also don't know that but it's if that's not too rambly, I think that that's sort of my contribution so far to this conversation because essentially, what happens is you can essentially cover your butt by putting up an uninformed, informative sign that says, hey, your biometric data is going to be collected right now. Here's how we're doing it. Here's how long we're going to store it. And then that's, that's the information, right?
Debbie Reynolds 16:08
Yeah, that's it.
Peter Counter 16:10
Like, if you know, if you're really crafty, and you want it, and you're like, okay, well, where's my, where's my opportunity to grow a business there, we'll do a side offshoot company and start printing BIPA signs.
Debbie Reynolds 16:23
Oh yeah, totally.
Peter Counter 16:24
Like slap stickers on their medical cabinets or their time clocks. But obviously, things are a little bit different when it comes to the AIs that are scraping the Internet for face images or they're doing auto-tagging, especially for people who are not subscribed to their services. So how could they possibly know? But then you have to kind of ask the other hard questions like, well, why do we need that in the first place? Why is that an important thing to have? And that does run counter to a lot of things, a lot of principles, I think, that people have in the technology industry. But again, this is an important thing. We're talking about people's bodies here.
Debbie Reynolds 17:11
Peter Counter 18:52
And then when it comes down to it, that's just about having a focused business model and understanding what you're providing.
Debbie Reynolds 19:00
Peter Counter 19:01
Like there's no reason for you to sell my data if I'm just using my face to get a beer at the automated kiosk in a stadium or something, right?
Debbie Reynolds 19:12
Peter Counter 19:13
Just for that.
Debbie Reynolds 19:14
That's a great segue. That's a great segue. I want to talk about a session that I did as part of your conference at the Travel Hospitality Biometrics Summit. The session we did together was called "Privacy, Identity and The Big Game”; it was great. So it's about sports and entertainment industries, how they're using biometrics, and things like stadiums and kiosks and how to get people in and out of places in safe ways. So tell me, tell the audience a bit about that. I thought to me, it was one of the most fun sessions that I've ever done because it's very different.
Peter Counter 19:57
Thank you. Well, that's very flattering and yeah, I was really, really happy with how that virtual event happened. So, quarterly, FindBiometrics is essentially doing vertical market-centric virtual events. So we start the year off, we do a, we have an annual year-end review. And that's sort of the big broad idea. And then in May, we did the travel and hospitality one. In September, we have financial services one, and then we're ending the year with biometrics in the workplace symposium. So we're doing all of these things. And it was a full day of virtual events I was on. If you're listening to this, you can't see but I was in this virtual background for about eight hours, just introducing things and moderating sessions. And one of them was with you and the CEO of Wicket, who provides face biometrics for the Cleveland Browns, and I believe the New York Mets, for their operations. And so it was really great. That was part of what we were talking about, we were also talking about how biometrics are facilitating passenger experiences, how they're used at the border, specifically in the United States, and also on cruise ships. So we had like a whole, we ran the gamut. And the reason that I'm so happy to hear that you thought it was fun, is because I was really happy that we had all of these exciting conversations about real deployments of biometrics. In these large facilities, you know what to keep it on stadiums; a stadium has all of these different exciting use cases where we get to talk about opting in and what biometrics are being used for. And we have also a very exciting example that people can get hyped up about, which is that hey, after a long time, many more of us are feeling excited to go back and see a sports game. If I don't sound too nerdy, just calling it sports games. I know we're talking about football in that scenario.
Debbie Reynolds 22:08
Yeah, well, it's definitely important. So I think we talked a lot about trust. So people don't want to give their biometrics to organizations that they don't trust. And then also, they have to see what the benefit is to them. So I feel like companies that have business models, where there's kind of scraping data, for no reason that benefits the individual. You know, of course, no one wants that. It's like, how does that benefit me as an individual? So a lot of the things we were talking about was how to help people get in and out safely, you know, stadiums do it in a way that creates less friction and is more safe and secure. Actually, there's one topic I would love to talk about. And so there was basically a catfight in the biometrics industry about this topic. And I'd love your thoughts about it. So the idea is about companies that create biometric databases that are empty. Once I create databases that are pre-populated, so there's two camps of thought there. And I think the problem that we tend to have, and in what we're talking about biometrics, people are always concerned about companies like Clearview AI that has this pre-populated, you know, set of data and people don't know what they're using it for, where in the example we gave in the webinar, for Wicket, you know, they're like, okay, I'm gonna give you a capability to collect this biometric stuff when people consent to it. And then if they want to have it stored in the future, they go to future games, and it'll be there. So it's not like they're going to some crazy database. They're not like, cross-checking it against other things. So give me your thoughts about that.
Peter Counter 24:06
Yeah, I mean, it's, I think, like the session that we were on is a really great example. And so thanks for the segue. But yeah, essentially, if I am somebody who wants to go see a Browns game, and I make the huge drive from Canada down to Cleveland. And I go there, and I'm like, oh, I can, I'm looking at my phone. And they're like, oh, you can enroll your face right now and get expedited entry and then have some fun things to do inside using your biometrics that'll make everything seem faster, and you won't have to be, you know, stuck in a massive line. Not only there but like eventually if they enable biometric concessions if you know I want to grab a drink or something I can go up and do that. And that incentivizes me to give my biometrics there. And so I'll do that there. And then ideally, if I just have the one ticket, then they will allow me to either opt-in to be like, would you like to keep this with us, and I should actually have a disclaimer, not. I'm, I'm just talking hypothetically. Now, I'm not talking about the Wicket process. That's not exactly. That's not exactly how Wicket does it, I don't believe but if being able to opt-in to have to say like, you can store my biometrics for the next time I want to go to a Cleveland Browns game. And then that helps. And it's sort of transactional; I'm giving them my identity data and sort of justifying their use of this great security and efficiency technology in order to get something myself. And so you have sort of this commercial transaction of identity. On the and that's, that's the empty database version. So they're collecting, if I opt-in, and I say, yeah, keep it or you know, what, I'm going to get season tickets, keep it for the season, they're populating their database, which ideally is empty in that scenario, with my consent to biometric data, with that's connected, hopefully, only to the information that they need, which is, you know, loyalty programs stuff. And maybe if I allow them, you know, payment information if I trust that. The other option. And this, I think kind of shows why the filled database is a little bit more concerning, from a customer standpoint, or sorry, yeah, like an average citizen standpoint. Let's say that, you know, I'm going to a football game or baseball game baseball is in season right now, from going to a baseball game. And they say, oh, you know, you don't have to worry about this. Would you like to use our biometric screening on the way in, and I just say yes, and then they just like, they're like, all right, that's fine, we don't need to enroll you, you're already in our database. And I'm simplifying it here. But that's a little bit creepy. And at the same time, I don't think that everybody necessarily feels that that is creepy. Because we do have a long history right now on the Internet of our data being, you know, collected with a small amount of notice. But to be honest, most people don't read end-user license agreements before they opt into things. And, so we're used to having things targeted to us. But the difference is that you know, people would already have our faces on file. So it's a little bit complicated there. But I know that, personally, I would prefer it not to be; I would prefer there not to be biometric databases with my face on them that hadn't consented to. But I'm not naive. And I know that they already exist. So it's really difficult from that user standpoint. Are there reasons to have pre-populated databases in law enforcement? And that's just kind of how it works. You can argue that if you are having your biometrics collected on intake, that's just part of the society that you live in, in certain cases. But I would say, and I hope this yeah, I don't think that this is too controversial, is that when you're talking about ethics and biometrics, the empty database approach, especially for commercial uses, that's the way to go. And there are a lot of companies that are finding a lot of success in that. And so the business model works.
Debbie Reynolds 28:59
So I agree, I mean, anytime you can tie that transaction to the consent of a person, and they see that as a benefit to them, you know, you have a better chance of being able to capture that biometric. Because if the person doesn't see it as a benefit, they're like, well, why would I do that? You know, so it makes sense. And I'd like to see more companies do that. And then we're seeing, you know, in terms of litigation, we're seeing companies that do the pre-populated databases, you know, they're getting slammed on almost every continent that I can think of, about collecting people's data without their knowledge or their consent in some ways, right? Because what's happening is like, they're saying, okay, I went and I get all this data from different people. And then I'm going to try to find someone to sell it to and Lord knows what they're going to do with it. You know, are they warmongers? Are they hunting for people not even in law enforcement situations, so it's definitely a concerning issue?
Peter Counter 30:10
And just on top of that, if you, there's a lot of trust that we put into the people who operate in our society, even when they're running afoul of these biometric laws. But if you look at something like in Russia, just a couple of weeks ago, the State government has demanded all of the biometric data from their banks to create a national biometric database. And so all of a sudden, they're pre-populating this database. And, I mean, there's no way that people are consenting to that. They're just going straight to the banks. And if you don't trust your government with your data, with your biometric data, but they have it, then all of a sudden, all of these things that, you know, if you are the type of person that thinks that law enforcement should have biometric capabilities. That's only true as long as the government remains non-totalitarian, you know?
Debbie Reynolds 31:15
That's true. That's true. So would love to talk about identity. So I feel like biometrics, one of the reasons why biometrics is going to become more ubiquitous is because not everyone is in identity systems. And so countries or governments or places in society where people need to identify themselves like to view a good or a service or something like that, we're seeing challenges around the world, where they're trying to get people in the identity kind of in the authentications space. So what are your thoughts? Or what are you seeing in terms of people that you're reporting about, like, managing that challenge in terms of identity, making the use more widespread, I guess?
Peter Counter 32:18
Yeah. I think that there's a lot of interesting things happening. And it was really accelerated through the pandemic, you know, there's this, there was this big trend before the pandemic called digital transformation, formerly digitization. And when everybody had to start doing hybrid work or work from home, it just kind of took off. And particularly when it came to travel industries, we also saw some real innovation from some of the big identity companies like NEC, and Idemia, using a platform-based approach, where they could, again, give the case to using your own biometric data to the way that NEC puts it is there, they have a platform called Isolite. They call it creating a delightful experience. And they're really focusing on sort of what we're talking about, in terms of enticing people. So I believe they had a program with the state of Hawaii, where if you wanted to opt-in with your biometrics, you could have a great like a seamless curb to get experience in your airport, fly to Hawaii, get off and then keep using your biometrics for things like hotel check-in, and etc. And it just created a touch less secure and very convenient travel experience that helped you feel safe and actually be safe. And so there was that kind of thing. And so that sort of platform approach uses, again, that sort of, it kind of hooks you with a really exciting use case. There are other examples that we see around the world. And some of the reasons that they're failing are either because they don't have the infrastructure or they haven't necessarily planned it correctly; there are certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa where there are many, many. Each time the government agency wants to do a biometric scheme, they start a new database. And so they have all of these different silos, and they actually come into an issue when they want to collate them and have a larger biometric ID because it's just, it wasn't planned far enough ahead. But I think in terms of North America, where we're going to see it happen most is in the mobile id space. And so this is where a really great indicator of this is that Apple has really gone full-fledged on this. Essentially what it is, is, and most people listening to this probably have heard about them. It's like mobile driver's licenses. And so the idea is that your State-issued ID is on your phone. And it is protected by biometrics and liveness detection. And that is going to sort of take all of the things that we've been talking about, and really, in terms of being able to control your own identity information, and it really is going to empower you to have that control once again. So the state already knows who you are; they are the issuer of your identity. Jay Meyer, a friend of mine in the industry, works for a company in face tech; he is fond of saying you are who the government says you are. And I know that there are plenty of instances where that's not necessarily correct. But when it comes down to doing something, for instance, a great example of how this can work is, you know, buying liquor during an age check; you are as old as the government says you are because you have to show your ID. So I think that this is going to be a really, really powerful thing having your driver's license on your phone. Because, you know, it's not susceptible to the same levels of fraud as paper documents; it's all in the same place. And you also have control over what biographical data you want to share at any given time. And again, it's protected and confirmed and verified and re-verified with your biometrics making sure that you are the person who actually has that ID. So it really is sort of a ground-up situation. When you're making a lot of hand gestures here. I don't know how much that's going to translate. But picture it.
Debbie Reynolds 37:06
Yes, yes, yes, you're passionate about the subject. Yeah, I'm definitely more tinfoil hat when it comes to data collection. So it has to be an extremely good reason for me to be able to get my biometric information. So but I'm not comfortable, I'm definitely not going to do it. So I think that trust factor definitely has to be there. In order for these things to be successful. I would love to chat about, now this is something that you say you're going to do at the end of this year, which is biometrics in the workplace. And I feel like biometrics in the workplace is just blowing up. Now you tell me if you think this is true, I saw an article, I may do a session about this about bossware. So it's kind of like the workplace surveillance with the people who are not in office or you know, there's a lot of things where like kind of people's voice recognition or, you know, watching their keystrokes and doing all types of stuff. So kind of these employee surveillance, the wacky things that are happening, what, what are your thoughts? I mean, it's definitely growing. And people have a growing concern there. What are your thoughts?
Peter Counter 38:23
Absolutely. I mean, just as a person who has worked remotely for a long time, I know that I work best on a task-based schedule, and not so much in terms of being measured keystrokes per minute. I find that kind of bossware stuff incredibly creepy, and I don't honestly; again, it comes back to what we're saying in the HIPAA conversation, like, if you are a manager if you're managing a company, and your biggest problem is you don't think that your people are typing fast enough, or, and stuff like that, I think, you know, the problems that you're experiencing, might actually have to do more with your business model. But that's just personally me. We're, in terms of our event it's going to be focused on things like protecting data, protecting networks and protecting people and customers within the hybrid environment. So we're seeing a lot of people use companies that do use empty databases for one-to-n matching. That's one to many, many matching to allow for people to get into buildings without having to hire a security guard or something or you know, they'll have biometric turnstiles. Being able to access your files with your biometrics that you've opted into, use from home at your workstation or at work, and just sort of coalescing, and converging the information security and the physical security aspects of work, when the sort of perimeter of the work is dissipating, the workplace is dissipating. When I say keeping customers safe, we're also going to have a track about gig work. And things like, you know, Uber and Lyft. I know there's there's been many, many years of conversation about driver verification and making sure that people are, the people who are serving in a gig economy are who they claim to be. Because that's just a safety issue. Or, you know, again, keeping scammers off of, I don't want to say that, I'm not saying that Airbnb has scammers, but keeping scammers off of short-term rental places. So that's sort of that in terms of biometrics, and there are ways to track employee productivity at home in bossware there is; there are definitely technologies that can be used for that. Behavioral biometrics, keystroke, and biometrics, those are strong enough, in some cases, to authenticate a user based on their actual typing patterns. And so there is a very powerful technology, what we call an invisible biometric. So you don't actually have to see it. You don't actually have to interact with something for it to know; it's similar; you mentioned voice biometrics, in the same way, can operate in the background and authenticate you. And so I am very for those being used specifically to prevent fraud. Because there are really great ways to, if you notice somebody is typing differently than they normally do. Or rather, if the software does, it can throw up a red flag and say this person is either typing under duress or being instructed on what to type. And so maybe they're being fished, or social engineers scammed, you know, or this person's voice is acting a little bit differently, maybe just throw up a different challenge to make sure that they are who they say they are. But beyond that, those kinds of creepy surveillance micromanaging things, yeah, I mean, this is just me talking as Peter Counter, not necessarily on behalf of anybody else, but maybe reassess your goals with those kinds of things. I think we agree on this one.
Debbie Reynolds 42:49
Well you're so Canadian; you said it so politely. Yeah. I feel like if you need to surveil your people in that way, it is outside of power; from the fraud perspective, you're probably not a very good manager.
Peter Counter 43:06
I mean, I'm saying this as a person who's had a lot of terrible jobs, and some good managers and some bad managers. And yeah, I don't know; I think you should try to curate a happy workplace and find ways to incentivize than punishing them for not typing fast enough. And especially when we're talking about different types of diversity and levels of enablement in the workplace, as you know, people work differently. And that's maybe the lesson we should take when it comes to a hybrid workplace is rather than trying to make everybody fit into this perfect worker mannequin. Yeah. We have certain automation technologies that can that you can use instead of harassing.
Debbie Reynolds 43:55
Yeah, totally. And, you know, even though we have all this AI technology, I think people don't realize, you know, humans are very creative, you know, so for every roadblock that you put up someone who's going to be able to find a way around that and it's not going to be pretty, right? So excellent. Yeah. Excellent. So if it was the world according to Peter, and we did everything you said what would be your wish for like privacy or identity or biometrics anywhere in the world?
Peter Counter 44:33
I think that we're at a really important inflection point when it comes to the digital space and the physical space coming together. And I know I'm not the only person. People are talking about Web 3 and the Metaverse but I think on a just a deep, basic level, being able to access digital services that help you maintain human dignity. That's an incredibly important thing right now. And I think that you know, it's if it's not already a human right, I think it's pretty close; you could argue that it is. And I think that having a strong identity is really important, especially right now, when, you know, we are many, many, many years into an ongoing refugee crisis that's only getting worse, with climate refugees. And now we're refugees. When you are displaced, all you have is yourself and hopefully, your family. And when you have yourself, you should have your identity. So in my perfect future, people have an irrefutable identity that can be used in person and online and that cannot be taken from them. And that they are in control of in terms of who's using it, and who's storing it, and, and how much information they get from it. So I think that there's a lot of power in that. And we can really do a lot because there are people who are in vulnerable communities all over the world, and you know, they'll have their identity stolen; they won't have had identity documents in the first place. And being able to have that themselves can be really, really powerful in terms of making the world a better place. And so that might be a little bit idealistic little bit unfeasible. But I do hope that we're moving in that direction. And I think that there are some companies and governments that would agree with me that that's a good thing.
Debbie Reynolds 46:43
I agree; that was a great answer. I love that. Right? Because this should, your identity should work for you, for the benefit of the individual. So right now we're seeing is, hopefully, a shift from people using data however they want, right, regardless of the individual, or we're seeing people, you know, bad actors who are manipulating or abusing people's identities for their own purposes. So having someone to be able to have agency over their own identity, I think it's very important.
Peter Counter 47:16
Exactly, yeah. I mean, if you know, have to go somewhere else for some other reason, you should be able to say, hey, I'm Debbie Reynolds; I'm here to make a living as a podcaster. And a data consultant, you know, and it shouldn't matter what document you have, you should be able to assert that right? That's right. Something else you should always be able to open a bank account should always be able to get a job and have money. Right? You know, I believe to be able to survive.
Debbie Reynolds 47:48
I agree. Identity is important, very important. Well, thank you so much. It's been a thrill to have you on the show. And I'm looking forward to us having fun times collaborating.
Peter Counter 48:01
Hear, hear, yeah. Thank you so much, Debbie. This is, this was great. Yeah, really looking forward to our next work together.
Debbie Reynolds 48:08
Excellent. Excellent. All right. Talk to you soon.