Ethics and Policy of Biometrics

Part of the Advances in Pattern Recognition book series (ACVPR)


This chapter describes the ethical and privacy implications concerning biometric technology. Two emerging issues related to biometrics, function creep and informatization of the body, are discussed. Because function creep results from the over-generation of data, the argument is made that, by design, biometric applications are unlikely to cease the collection and processing of surplus amounts of personal data. Concerning informatization of the body, biometrics can be seen in both a positive and a negative light. When biometric technology is used to give a personal identity to a previously unidentified person, an increased sense of personal empowerment through the attainment of identity is witnessed. However, when biometrics is instead used to offer an identity to individuals solely for the purpose of categorization, we can then consider this to be an unwelcome risk of this technology. Thus, care must be taken in the application of biometric technology.


Biometric System Extra Data Function Creep Recognition Scheme Biometric Template 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Science, Society and CitizenshipPiazza Capo di FerroItaly

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