Recommended reading: privacy and biometrics
The OECD working party on information security and privacy have published a very informative but dry report about biometrics. The report analyses theory and practice of the following major biometric-based technologies: finger-scanning, hand geometry, facial recognition, iris scanning, retinal scanning, finger geometry, voice recognition and dynamic signature verification. A brief description of other, more obscure biometric-based technologies such as ear geometry, body odour measurement, keystroke dynamics and ‘gait’ recognition (specific perambulatory movement) is also provided.
Avoiding any grand statements about the desirability of some of these techniques, the report concludes: “The extent to which we are willing to incorporate statutory and policy and technological controls into these systems and technologies will determine the extent to which they will improve our quality of life; providing convenience and security or conversely, the extent to which they threaten our liberty and freedom via actual or potential surveillance and control.”
OECD Working Party on information security and privacy: Biometric-based technologies (28.04.2004) http://appli1.oecd.org/olis/2003doc.nsf/43bb6130e5e86e5fc12569fa005d004c/d15c6d3ea769bc64c1256e84004c42fc/$FILE/JT00163031.PDF