Biometrics but because of this vulnerability there is always

Biometrics has
everyone concerned about security, and privacy. The use of this method opens
the door to the abuse of this technology on several different levels.
Biometrics refers to the metrics of human characteristics, these
characteristics belong exclusively to you and no one else. Put simply,
biometrics is a process used to identify or verify a person’s identity using
physical or behavioral traits. Biometric identifiers are distinctive,
measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals. Some types
of biometrics include but are not limited to DNA matching, Eyes (both iris and
retina) Recognition, Fingerprints, Odor, Signature, Etc. The advantage to using
this technology is that your some of your characteristics don’t change, and
they follow you everywhere. Not to mention it’s difficult to forge or fake and
in some cases almost impossible. Biometrics have been used throughout history,
one of the more recent examples would be an Englishman named Edward Henry in
1900 when he used fingerprints to classify and identify criminals. Due to the
September 11th terroristic attacks this technology has become
increasingly more popular with the government.

Biometric
methods are not all foolproof, but because of this vulnerability there is
always a threat of someone impersonating or stealing their identity. Since
biometric data is supposed to be accurate due to its unique qualities and
individual’s innocence’s may be difficult to prove.  The government uses facial recognition to
help catch criminals. The main concern would be how this is violating someone’s
First Amendment Right. Another concern is that facial recognition has a higher
rate of error. This is because of how easy it is to change ones appearance,
some examples would be weight loss, color contacts, facial reconstruction, hair
color changes, tattoos, etc.  Which means
people could be accused of a crime they did not commit due to the simple fact
of share similar looks. Due to the high rate of errors in the facial
recognition software the court alone will not pursue charges unless there is
multiple biometric identifiers matching a single individual. TSA is trying to
implement “Full Body Scanners” into airports for international travelers. Since
TSA confirmed that naked digital photos of an individual can be stored and
shared this is considered a civil liberties violation. These scanners seem all
great but in reality the full body scanners cannot detect plastics or
chemicals, so they provide no safety from liquid bombers. Also due to the fact
that pictures can be stored and shared individuals under the age of 18 cannot
use these scanners due to the breach in child pornography laws. But it makes
you wonder why these scanners were even installed in the first place. There are
three categories of privacy concerns, which are as follows; unintended
functional scope, which means the authentication goes further than just authentication,
such as finding a tumor when only given permission to find a blood type. The
authentication process that correctly identifies the subject when the subject
did not wish to be identified is called unintended application scope. Covert
Identification is when the subject is identified without seeking identification
or authentication, i.e. a subject’s face is identified in a crowd using facial
recognition. Biometric authentication is a process where a person’s biometric
traits are compared to a stored template of that person.

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Biometric
identification raises a lot of ethical issues, mostly centered on the concept
of privacy. One is that, say a stalker or a government agency will legitimately
gain access to information about you and utilize it to harass or harm you. A
second is that information you provide for a particular purpose will be
retrieved or purchased perhaps to be correlated with other information, and
used for purposes that you would not have predicted or agreed to happen. A
third kind of concern is that the data will be stolen or illegally released,
exposing you to risk, embarrassment or other types of harm. For example, during
super bowl XXXV, fans faces were scanned and compared to mug shots of known
criminals. In this case the scanning wasn’t just the problem, but the fact it
was done without the knowledge of the public, whether it was done for their
protection or not. According to Richard Norton, “The real perception problems
come from passive technologies that can be used without public knowledge. We
haven’t seen any backlash over the public hysteria but we need to make sure
this technology isn’t abused. If it is, the public will lose their confidence
completely.” Security systems that scan and compare data can give false
positives and false negative readings. If there is a system breakdown which
would be caused by failing sensors that scan. This could result in a valid
person being denied access through the system or even giving permission to
someone who should not be allowed.

 

Even through
using biometric technology is considered to be an effective measure for
security and protection against crime, there is concern that it violates the
privacy and personal rights of the public. These issues include the possibility
of fraud, identity theft, civil liberty violations and inaccuracy of
information that could result in being accused of a crime or become a victim of
discrimination. If used correctly, biometrics could help protect against identity
theft, fraud, and terrorism. But the potential for misuse is glaringly obvious.
It raises questions about how the biometric data is being stored. Among other
things Legislation should limit the amount and type of data that the government
can store and where it is stored. They should restrict the collection of
different types of data into a single database.

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