We received this e-mail, which was largely complimentary about the report but had this to say:
As much as I appreciate this work, and find it ever so valuable, I must say that as a project partner in both the BITE and the HIDE projects, (mentioned in the section on biometrics), I do not find your treatment of these (p.48) fair at all.
I can tell that you only used the project descriptions on the websites, and did not look into the actual deliverables at all!
As author of several ones of these , I feel very disappointed about your qualification of these projects as being merely about `ethics’ and within that, merely about PETs , privacy or data protection.
May I draw your attention to e.g.:
the BITE deliverables attached ? [http://www.biteproject.org/documents.asp]
For many years now, I have done my utter best to broaden the scope of debate over biometrics, not just within these projects, but elsewhere as well, so I am sure you will understand that seeing these efforts reduced again as you do is something I needed to respond to”
In response Ben says: happy to draw attention to your work! In my defence, in a project so broad in scope (some 2,000 EU funded projects were examined) it was simply impossible to do more than summarise the projects as described in the abstracts.
I still have very grave reservations about the security research programme as a whole (as well as the EU legislation on biometrics) and would at the very least like to see “ethics” – or better still human rights and civil liberties – put at the heart of every project, instead of becoming some kind of sub-heading at the margins of the programme. My fear is that an increase in ethical research will not “offset”, for want of a better word, the surveillance-mania that is central to so much of the EU funded research we have examined.
Happy to post more good security research on this site – send to ben[at]statewatch[dot]org.