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Recommendation on the Use of Biometric Technology

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Security and Privacy in Biometrics


Biometric technology is based on the use of information linked to individuals. Hence, privacy and security in biometric applications becomes a concern and the need to assess such applications thoroughly becomes equally important. Guidelines for application of biometric technology must ensure a positive impact on both security and privacy. Based on two cases of biometric application, which have been assessed by the Danish Data Protecting Agency, this chapter present a set of recommendations to legislators, regulators, corporations and individuals on the appropriate use of biometric technologies put forward by the Danish Board of Technology. The recommendations are discussed and compared to the similar proposal put forward by the European Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.

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    The members of the working group are presented in the Acknowledgements.

  2. 2.

    Spoofing is when a person pretends to be someone else, for example by using a fake fingerprint.


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Each year the Danish Board of Technology carries out a debate-creating IT security project for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The Directors of the Board of Technology have in conjunction with the Danish IT and Telecom Agency decided to implement a technology assessment of biometry as the 2009 project. The project aims to assess the benefits and challenges introduced by the proliferation of biometric technologies.

To illustrate this, the Board of Technology has established a multidisciplinary working group. The working group was lead by Project Manager, Jacob Skjødt Nielsen and Project Officer, Peter Lemcke Frederiksen from the Danish Board of Technology and included experts from civil society (Anette Høyrup, Danish Consumer Council), law (Charlotte Bagger Tranberg, Aalborg University), industry (Henning Mortensen, Confederation of Danish Industry and Lars Kornbek, Vitani A/S), computer science (Niels Christian Juul, Roskilde University), and ethics (Thomas Laursen, Secretariat of the Danish Council of Ethics).

On September, 30, 2009 the Board of Technology held a workshop where a wide range of selected stakeholders debated a discussion paper from the working group and provided input to the project.

Its content is also presented in Danish on the website The website is open to the public and enables the Danes to seek information about biometry and to express their views in an attitude survey.

COST Action 2101

EU COST action 2101, Biometry for IDentification and Smart cards (BIDS) has been collaborating for four years on biometrics research and industrial applications. In May 2010, the action hosted a workshop on Security and Privacy in Biometrics at University of Las Palmas.


Both the collaboration and discussions in the working group hosted by the Danish board of Technology and within the COST action 2101 has influenced this chapter. The contributions of both are hereby acknowledged.

This work was also presented and discussed in a preliminary form at the COST action 2101 Workshop on Security and Privacy in Biometrics at University of Las Palmas, Grand Canarias, May 2010.

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Correspondence to Niels Christian Juul .

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Juul, N.C. (2013). Recommendation on the Use of Biometric Technology. In: Campisi, P. (eds) Security and Privacy in Biometrics. Springer, London.

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