Essay: Biometric Information Systems and Privacy Rights

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Biometric Information Systems and Privacy Rights

Biometric information systems are systems that cover a wide range of technologies for technologies that can be used to verify the identity of individuals by measuring and analyzing human characteristics. The biometric information systems rely on an individual's attributes as opposed to things that the individual has or might know. Biometric information systems are available and widely used today and are incorporated in security systems to aid in the protection of assets (International Association for Identification, 2012). These systems vary in complexity, their capabilities and their performance .they can be used when there is need for the verification of the identity of an individual. The leading biometric information system are made up of biometric technologies such as facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, the geometry of an individual's hand, the recognition of the iris, retina recognition, speaker recognition and the recognition of an individual's signature (Rhodes, 2003).

These attributes that are used in biometric systems can be as simple as just a minute location and the orientation of on an individual's palm print or even just a finger print or as complex as a mathematical function applied to the iris of images. The biometric systems are used for access control to computers and facilities for instance multi-spectacular fingerprinting images and matching can be used for the verification of a ticket holder being the real owner. Voice biometrics may be used in the verification over the phone of the identity of an account holder.

Biometric systems are widely used successfully for the support of identification experts as they search larger and larger repositories of the known biometric exemplars like facial image reference. Some biometrics like speaker and facial recognition are often used for investigation support than the support of prosecutions. They can also be used in border crossing by countries through biometric gates. Biometric information systems can also be used as an aspect in forensics, since fingerprints and facial images that have been collected when there is an instance of the fraudulent use of passport can be presented as evidence in court.

The use of biometric information system have often been linked with and purported as a violation of the right to privacy of individual's. The issues pertaining to biometrics and privacy occur when someone has enrolled in biometric identification system that is referred to as a biometric template. They provide information that contains an image of their fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein, pattern of the iris or even other physiological characteristics that will consequently be stored on a server or a computer. Due to this reasons there can be various fears on what could possibly happen to the individual's information that has been stored. These fears are; the theft of identity, where individuals have the perception that their information may be stolen by computer hackers and use the information to steal someone's identity just as someone can steal a pin number or social security number. The other fear is the development of a government database with the stored information in the biometric template which can be used by federal, state or even local government in the creation of a new national registration of its citizens.

Privacy issues that arise from the use of biometric systems often revolve around various aspects which are; if the biometric technologies are an appropriate or proportionate solution to a problem. Just because the biometric systems are in use does it mean that it is right for them to be used. secondly is the use of biometric systems a means of identifying or is it a means of just authentication .in the majority of cases biometric systems are used for the authentication but there can be instances where be misconceived desires in the systems to try and single out an individual from the database. Thirdly should the biometric templates be gathered as opposed to biometric images. Many organizations go for the image option rather than the template option. Template options offer fewer cases of privacy implications than images. This is because an image that is stolen can be used in the attack on an individual's identity while the templates are of far… [END OF PREVIEW]

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