Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 9, 2006

Biometrics and privacy: two new reports

Filed under: Privacy and Security,Technology for HLS — by Christian Beckner on January 9, 2006

Security Document World writes today about two new reports on biometrics and privacy, written by the National Biometric Security Project under contract to DHS and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The two reports are entitled United States Federal Laws Regarding Privacy and Personal Data and Applications to Biometrics and Report on International Data Privacy Laws and Application to the Use of Biometrics in the United States.

From the description of the first report in the story:

Importantly, the report highlights the distinctions between identification and verification techniques and discusses how each method relates to privacy laws and issues. Generally, the report says, biometric “identification” does a “one to many” search of extensive databanks to find a match. Because such databanks may contain or be linked to personal information, and because identification applications can be used without the subject’s knowledge or consent, such as in surveillance, the privacy concerns are intensified, the report claims.

I’d write more, but as of now the two reports are not available on the group’s website. If and when they are, I’ll update this post.

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