AND ITS EFFECT ON AUTHENTICATION AND PRIVACY
A DIRECTED STUDY PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL IN CANDIDACY FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Context of the Problem
Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, biometric technology has become an increasing part of practices in all industries within the United States and other countries. In the past, biometrics such as facial recognition was used primarily to control physical access to high-security facilities, and to identify crime suspects. Today, the most popular use of facial recognition is for surveillance purposes. Facial recognition is also being used to control access to computers and facilities, by replacing badges and passwords. Through the use of biometric technology, information is kept and tracked in many different databases. With all of this information being collected, it is important for the consumer to be concerned about the control aspects of the information being collected on them.
Statement of the Problem
There are several critical issues when using biometric technology such as facial recognition. Recent concerns with the possible uses and misuses of biometrics have led to a discussion whether biometrics is privacy-enhancing or privacy threatening. A central question, according to Woodward (1999), is whether a user has full control over his data, knowing when, where, and why a submitted biometric feature is used. Non-intended reuse is possible in non-biometric systems, but fear is increased due to the highly personal nature of biometric data, as opposed to simply an ID number. Some biometric data, such as DNA, showing medical information can be passed along to commercial systems, insurance companies, or the government. Privacy concerns with biometrics as summarized by Wirtz (2000) are:
· Unauthorized access to biometric data
· Unauthorized disclosure of biometric data to third parties
· Use of biometric data for other than intended purpose
· Collection of biometric data without the knowledge of the individual
Meeting privacy and data protection requirements is a central concern to the success of biometric systems. Such concerns led to the formation of the IBIA (International Biometric Industry Association), an organization concerned with data protection and ID systems used in biometrics, particularly from the consumer viewpoint. Legal concerns can help ensure that biometrics are properly applied and therefore increase an individual's security.
In order to resolve the problem at hand, the following questions were used to focus the research:
1. What is biometric technology and facial recognition?
2. What are the effects of biometric technology such as facial recognition on consumers?
3. What is the importance of privacy and security within the United States and other countries?
4. What are the key factors for using biometric technology such as facial recognition?
5. What are the key factors against biometric technology such as facial recognition?
6. Are there key factors that would allow the government, industry, and consumers to work together in the biometric technology effort?
Significance of the Study
The study reveals the importance that privacy and security has on society today, through the increased use of biometric technology such as facial recognition. Although security has become a great concern, some consumers are not willing to give up their privacy. This study shows the importance of consumers, government, and the industry to work together to protect consumers privacy while at the same time providing security.
Objectives of the Study
The primary scope of the study is to identify the key issues with using biometric technology, such as facial recognition from a consumer prospective. The first objective of the study is to clearly identify consumer concerns with biometric technology. The second objective of the study is to identify the dilemma between privacy and security. The last objective is to clearly identify recommendations for the private and public sector to collaborate together on the biometric technology effort.
The secondary research consists of an overview of publications, periodicals, and works in progress, in the subject area of biometrics, facial recognition, privacy, security, authentication, anonymity, and identification.
Primary research will involve interviewing several professionals and government officials within the biometric sector as well as surveys answered by consumers.