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