Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Biometric Surveillance: Where Privacy and Security Intersect


Function Creep is a Primary Concern With Biometric Surveillance

Video Face Recognition at a Distance is Still a Major Issue

The Most Commonly Used Biometric Device is the Fingerprint Scanner

The Major Pitfalls of Each Biometric System


Biometrics, the method of authentication based on physical or behavioral characteristics of an individual, have been in use for thousands of years. It wasn't until Alphonse Bertillon developed anthropometrics, the process of taking physical measurements of the human body to identify a person, where the concept of biometrics became popular. After anthropometric identification, the ease of use and accuracy of fingerprinting soon became the norm. First used with law enforcement, the first commercial application of fingerprinting did not happen until 1972. Since that time, biometric technology has transformed to include authentication practices based on the iris, face, voice and gait.

In the present time, biometric technology is now heavily used by both private and public institutions. As a direct response to September 11, 2001, public safety and security of the nation has been put before people’s concerns with privacy. The companies who make these biometric technologies have expressed that biometrics are the way to go since because of its low cost, high accuracy, and decrease in the likelihood of a person pretending to be someone else. Also, these companies make sure it is known that any biometric data that is collected from a user cannot be replicated by anyone else if there is a breach in the system. The reason for this is that the systems do not store the full fingerprint, face, etc., but instead it stores specific key points on the face, fingerprint, etc., that helps it differentiate between individuals.

Biometrics is not only used to combat terrorists but everyday crimes too. Known as biometric surveillance, many of these systems use face recognition in order to catch criminals or to keep track of ex-convicts. They are also in place to prevent criminal acts from happening. Places that currently use or have used these systems are the Disney theme parks, the SuperBowl, social services departments within each state to combat assistance fraud, and the FBI. In the past, the FBI has only used Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), but now has plans to implement a billion dollar face recognition system which will track all Americans.

1 comment:

  1. Biometrics really works in mysterious ways! This gives people the privacy and security which are 2 essential things all of us need. Thanks for sharing this post! This is so cool! Two thumbs up for this!