The Canadian Privacy Commissioner’s most recent newsletter refers to a document entitled “Data at Your Fingertips: Biometrics and the Challenges to Privacy“.
I believe that biometrics will ultimately be the right solution for authentication and identification, and will help reduce the use of passwords which, lets face it, are very difficult in practice to use to their best theoretical effectiveness.
There are however challenges in using biometrics relating to privacy and identity theft.
The document starts off by saying:
Canadians are witnessing a growing interest among government and private-sector organizations in adopting systems that use biometric characteristics to automatically identify people or verify their identity. But whether a fingertip, a face or an iris is being scanned, what’s being collected is personal information about an identifiable individual.
And that makes it our interest too.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has prepared this primer on biometrics and the systems that use them. It also describes some of the privacy implications raised by this emerging field, as well as measures to mitigate the risks.
The document invites comments on the issue of privacy and biometrics before March 31.