Biometric Identity

59 Comms. of the ACM #1 (January 2016)

Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 2016-08

5 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2016 Last revised: 1 Apr 2016

Date Written: October 25, 2015


This very short essay addresses the use of biometric identity systems – databases including entries for all or the vast majority of a country’s residents, with a mechanism to tie the data entries to the subjects’ biometric characteristics, so that identities can be checked or verified in the field. Such systems have important advantages, especially in less-industrialized countries without robust birth registration systems. However, they also present substantial privacy risks.

Keywords: biometric, database, Aadhaar, fingerprint, national ID

Suggested Citation

Weinberg, Jonathan, Biometric Identity (October 25, 2015). 59 Comms. of the ACM #1 (January 2016), Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 2016-08, Available at SSRN:

Jonathan Weinberg (Contact Author)

Wayne State University Law School ( email )

471 Palmer
Detroit, MI 48202
United States
313-577-3942 (Phone)
313-577-2620 (Fax)


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