Mitigating Soft-Biometric Driven Bias and Privacy Concerns in Face Recognition Systems

Philipp Terhörst
2021
Biometric verification refers to the automatic verification of a person's identity based on their behavioural and biological characteristics. Among various biometric modalities, the face is one of the most widely used since it is easily acquirable in unconstrained environments and provides a strong uniqueness. In recent years, face recognition systems spread world-wide and are increasingly involved in critical decision-making processes such as finance, public security, and forensics. The
more » ... rensics. The growing effect of these systems on everybody's daily life is driven by the strong enhancements in their recognition performance. The advances in extracting deeply-learned feature representations from face images enabled the high-performance of current face recognition systems. However, the success of these representations came at the cost of two major discriminatory concerns. These concerns are driven by soft-biometric attributes such as demographics, accessories, health conditions, or hairstyles. The first concern is about bias in face recognition. Current face recognition solutions are built on representation-learning strategies that optimize total recognition performance. These learning strategies often depend on the underlying distribution of soft-biometric attributes in the training data. Consequently, the behaviour of the learned face recognition solutions strongly varies depending on the individual's soft-biometrics (e.g. based on the individual's ethnicity). The second concern tackles the user's privacy in such systems. Although face recognition systems are trained to recognize individuals based on face images, the deeply-learned representation of an individual contains more information than just the person's identity. Privacy-sensitive information such as demographics, sexual orientation, or health status, is encoded in such representations. However, for many applications, the biometric data is expected to be used for recognition only and thus, raises major privacy issues. The unauthorized access of such individual's pri [...]
doi:10.26083/tuprints-00018515 fatcat:v6lxpbygoje2pcsduidmzvxrka