Biometric Technology: Ethical and Privacy Issues

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Biometric is a tool used to identify and reliably confirm an individual’s identity on the basis of physiological or behavioral characteristic (combination of both) which are unique for a specific human being. Biometric technology has been around for so many years and the technology has being used as the latest weapon to fight against crime. The scope of this paper is reflecting on biometric in terms of ethical and privacy issues. There are a number of ethical issues centering on biometric concerning privacy rights of individuals. Examples of biometric technology are fingerprints, facial recognition, DNA, palm print recognition, hand geometry, iris recognition, odor recognition and etc. These devices are being used more and more around the world each day. Some examples are: places like airports, Walt Disney, office buildings, banks, military, government facilities and the list goes on and on as we rely on this technology to help identify us for our security. This technology has been used in many ways to protect our personal identity. In fact biometric is tightly linked to an individual and it is difficult to duplicate a biometric trait, it can prevent identity theft and rule out the use of several identities by a single individual, however one concern is about the stored biometric data. There are also concerns about the ethical and privacy aspect of using biometric systems. People perceive biometric as offensive and invading their dignity, space and rights and there are time when they are embarrassed. Protecting the public privacy is very important when it comes to biometric use. With the use of biometric devices, organizations should address ethical issues including privacy before deploying the device. As this device becomes more popular worldwide, it seems as if our privacy is being compromised in some ways. Cavoukian stated, “As the use and development of biometric becomes more widespread throughout the world, so does the privacy and security risks...
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