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Autonomous vehicles white paper – volume 4

It’s all about you: The integration of biometrics into autonomous vehicles

Our latest white paper addresses the planned and actual use of biometrics—the measurement of unique human physiological and behavioral characteristics — in today’s (and tomorrow’s) vehicles. This White Paper explores the legal issues raised by the increased use of biometrics in cars and how to manage the risk that they raise for vehicle developers, manufacturers and operators. It explores eight countries (US, Australia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey) and their impact on biometric use.

Introduction

Norton Rose Fulbright’s fourth annual Autonomous Vehicle (AV) White Paper addresses the planned and actual use of biometrics – the measurement of unique human physiological and behavioral characteristics – in today’s (and tomorrow’s) vehicles. To be sure, the use of biometrics has been incorporated into a multitude of technologies that are used on a daily basis to facilitate the identification or authentication of individuals.

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The integration of biometrics into autonomous vehicles

Although the topic of “biometrics” can be addressed in a number of ways, there are two fundamental points – the types or “what” information can be used, and the method or “how” that information is captured. Far beyond merely capturing an ink impression of an index finger or a partial of a thumb, today’s biomarkers cover a wide range of the human condition and are captured and stored in a myriad of ways that provide both great benefits and significant challenges.

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United States

Although the adaptation of biometrics in technology has been increasingly incorporated into our daily lives (e.g. cellular phones, banking, computers, etc.), there has not been a commensurate proliferation of laws, on either the federal or state levels, that regulate how biometric data are collected or stored.

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Australia

Automated vehicle technology is likely to produce and retain data about vehicle behavior and vehicle occupants. Some of that data will sit only in-vehicle. However, some will be shared with and supplemented by information shared through Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) that allow vehicles to communicate directly with other vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic signals.

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China

Robin Li, the CEO of Baidu Inc., one of China’s IT giants, recently admitted that Baidu received a ticket in July 2017 from the police because of testing a driverless car on public roads in Beijing in July 2017, which was not permitted under the traffic regulations at that time.

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France

According to a study led by Deloitte in 2019, French consumers are more confident than other Europeans about AVs: only 36% of French people say they are skeptical about them in 2019 (vs. 65% in 2017) compared to an average of 50% for other Europeans, who believe that such vehicles are not yet sufficiently safe.

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Germany

The German government and the European Commission have declared biometric technologies to be key enablers for a digital economy with a multitude of potential fields of application to recognize, authenticate and identify persons based on physical and/or behavioral characteristics.

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Indonesia

As in the case with the operation of AVs, there is no specific regulatory framework for the uses of biometrics either for general use or specifically for the integration of biometrics into AVs in Indonesia. The absence of regulation, however, does not necessarily mean that Indonesia does not recognize the uses of biometrics.

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South Korea

Korea has seen an increasing use of biometrics in vehicles and related electronic products. As an illustration, Samsung’s Galaxy mobile phones enable the user to unlock the phone by face recognition and Hyundai’s new Santa Fe vehicles enable the driver to unlock and start the car using his/her fingerprint.

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Turkey

Turkey has been following global trends in adaptation of biometrics in technology, particularly in identification and security technologies. As of 2018, Turkey has a population of 82.4 million. 96% of the population own a mobile phone, 41.9 million of which are smartphone users.

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