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Biometric mirror: Exploring values and attitudes towards facial analysis and automated decision-making

conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2019, 00:00 authored by Niels Wouters, Ryan Kelly, Eduardo Velloso, Katrin Wolf, Hasan FerdousHasan Ferdous, Joshua Newn, Zaher Joukhadar, Frank Vetere
Facial analysis applications are increasingly being applied to inform decision-making processes. However, as global reports of unfairness emerge, governments, academia and industry have recognized the ethical limitations and societal implications of this technology. Alongside initiatives that aim to formulate ethical frameworks, we believe that the public should be invited to participate in the debate. In this paper, we discuss Biometric Mirror, a case study that explored opinions about the ethics of an emerging technology. The interactive application distinguished demographic and psychometric information from people's facial photos and presented speculative scenarios with potential consequences based on their results. We analyzed the interactions with Biometric Mirror and media reports covering the study. Our findings demonstrate the nature of public opinion about the technology's possibilities, reliability, and privacy implications. Our study indicates an opportunity for case study-based digital ethics research, and we provide practical guidelines for designing future studies.



DIS 2019 ACM Designing Interactive Systems. International Conference (2019 : San Diego, California)


ACM International Conference Series : Contesting Borders and Intersections


Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


San Diego, California

Place of publication

New York, N.Y.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2019, ACM

Title of proceedings

DIS 2019 : Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Designing Interactive Systems