Biometric security and business ethics

A variety of ethical concerns with biometric identification methods have been registered by users:

  • Some biometric identification methods are relatively intrusive (like retina scans)
  • The gathering of biometric information like fingerprints is associated with criminal behavior in the minds of many people
  • Traditionally, detailed biometric information has been gathered by large institutions, like the military or police; people may feel a loss of privacy or personal dignity
  • People feel embarrassed when rejected by a public sensor
  • Automated face recognition in public places could be used to track everyone's movements without their knowledge or consent.
There are also many questions about how this data will be stored and used:
  • How will masses of biometric data be stored? These are not fingerprint cards stored in a secured building; this is easily moved and duplicated electronic information. How will this information be safeguarded?
  • Who will have access to this information? Will companies be allowed access to face biometrics, letting them use security cameras to positively identify customers on a routine basis? How would you feel about walking into a store you've never been in before, only to be greeted by name by a sales associate who has just read a summary of all of your recent purchases?

Index of related articles:

Biometric security overview
Biometrics Glossary
Characteristics of successful biometric identification methods
Biometric identification systems
Biometric technology on the leading edge
Biometric identification - advantages
Biometric security and business ethics
Biometric authentication: what method works best?
Iris Recognition
Iris Scan








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