Biometrics: Management of Uncertainty and Scepticism in the Age of Technologization
“Security demands certainty”. Security analysts try to eliminate uncertainties in order to become more secure. But risk analysts answer that the cost of eliminating a risk is infinite.Currently industrial societies turning rapidly into information societies. Computer systems that were previously separated and dedicated to specific tasks become a more and more integrated global information system. The driving force is competition of service providers of all kinds and perhaps the most visible indicator is the convergence of telephone, cell phone and satellite networks, TV cable networks and the Internet. This global system provides a multitude of services and at the same time controls access to services,resources and funds. In order to enforce access authorizations effectively, and also to overcome the notorious disadvantages of passwords and PINs , which need to be memorized, it will become common practice to recognize human individuals biometrically.Biometric technology is already available and will soon be cheap enough to be applied on a large-scale basis. If this leads to an uncontrolled proliferation of biometric data, then not only the privacy of individuals is at serious risk, but democracies as such are so. It may sound paradoxical, but biometric recognition is possible, without individuals giving away their personal biometric data to any device under the control of a verifying organization or corporation. This work focuses less on the biometric techniques themselves, but rather on how the resulting biometric data is handled in the systematic uncertainty in system performance.
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