Biometrics Viewed as Acceptable

But most Americans demand privacy safeguards as well.

by / January 15, 2003
Hackensack -- A majority (56 percent to 91 percent) of the U.S. public believes it is acceptable for the private sector to use biometric technologies, according to the recently released two-wave survey commissioned by SEARCH, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, and developed by Dr. Alan Westin, President & Publisher of Privacy & American Business (P&AB).

The survey findings are analyzed in the latest issue of the P&AB Electronic Newsletter, which focuses on biometrics in the private sector. The survey found that public support for biometrics hinges on the privacy safeguards set in place by legislators and adopted voluntarily by companies themselves to protect consumers from potential misuse of their biometric identifiers and to gain consumer trust.

Prepared and written by P&AB's Dr. Westin, the leading authority on privacy, this special issue spotlights business uses of biometric technologies, which take physical characteristics to electronically identify an individual, like finger or facial scans.

Also included in this issue are guiding privacy principles for companies using biometrics proposed by Privacy & Information Commissioner of Ontario and co-author of The Privacy Payoff, Ann Cavoukian, and the International Biometrics Group's BioPrivacy Initiative. An extensive list of biometric resources for business is also featured. -- Jim McKay, justice editor