The Law Applicable to the Use of Biometrics by Armed Forces
The NATO Cyber Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, the War Studies Research Centre of the Netherlands Defence Academy and the University of Amsterdam are organizing an international workshop on the law applicable to the use of biometrics by armed forces, contractors working with armed forces and ICT companies involved in military acquisition and procurement. The aim of the workshop is to provide a platform for debate between academics, practitioners and policy-makers to discuss the legal aspects of the military use of this new technology.
The workshop will take place on the 7th and 8th of May in Tallinn, Estonia. The format is currently planned to be in-person.
Recipients of this call for papers are invited to submit proposals to present a paper at the workshop. Submission deadline: 1 December 2023.
Biometric characteristics (such as fingerprints, face and finger topography, gait, voice, and DNA) are now widely used to identify individuals. These developments have not been limited to only the civilian domain, as we have also increasingly seen these technologies being used in a military context. Examples of this include the use of biometrics to identify individuals authorised to enter certain areas, to identify deceased soldiers, or biometric data being gathered to identify or track potential threats.
Due to the unique nature of the biometric data, their use in the military context raises a host of legal questions. There has been an emerging interest within the academic community highlighting how (international) legal frameworks might influence military organisations’ collection and subsequent processing of this data. This workshop aims to build on these efforts, combining the more theoretical academic perspectives with those of practitioners.
The workshop organizers invite proposals for papers to be presented at the workshop dealing with questions concerning the law applicable to the use of biometrics by armed forces, including but not limited to the following topics:
- Applicability of domestic and regional data protection instruments to the use of biometrics in a military context;
- (Comparative) domestic legal regulation of the use of biometrics by armed forces;
- The legal framework for the use of biometric information in a non-international armed conflict;
- The legal framework for the sharing of biometric information in multinational operations, between operations and outside of operations;
- The interaction between IHL and human rights law in the context of the use of biometrics; • Legal aspects of specific use cases of biometrics by armed forces;
- Rights of persons in mission areas or occupied territories whose biometric data has been captured and stored;
- Potential derogation from human rights and data protection instruments in the context of the use of biometrics in military operations;
- Technical means to ensure compliance with legal requirements;
- Biometric data as the target of military operations or attacks;
- The use of biometrics by private (military) actors during crisis / armed conflict;
- The use of biometric data in the context of battlefield evidence;
- Development, procurement and deployment of military and dual-use technologies that employ biometric data;
- Data sovereignty in armed conflict.
Researchers and practitioners interested in addressing the issues above are invited to respond to this call for papers with an abstract of a maximum of 500 words and a brief CV. Proposals should be submitted to prof. dr. Marten Zwanenburg (firstname.lastname@example.org), no later than 1 December 2023. Our selection process will prioritize innovative proposals with clear potential to contribute to and advance legal and policy debates in the years ahead.