Saturday, February 6, 2010

#4 Refine Your Research Topic/Question/Problem (freewrite, 10 minutes)

1. How can we utilise and advance biometrics while still insuring personal privacy of citizens?

First I would like to start with refining my research problem.  I really wanted to stick with something that deals with the privacy part of biometrics.  For example, I am fairly curious as to what companies or other agencies actually do with the biometric data. One refined question could be:

I am studying the advancement of biometrics with respect to the privacy of the individuals who use the system because I want to find out how the entities that implement these systems can use the biometric data against the user in order to help the user understand how their privacy is being violated and what new things can be done to fix the problem.

Possible answers would be the subject that I have heard of in class (but not researched) which is called cancelable biometrics.  We all know that our own biometric data cannot be changed because we cannot just change our fingerprints, but with this new method the security system would implement some sort of hashing or manipulation algorithm which would safeguard the user from even having to lose their biometric data in the first place.  As for the issues of their privacy being used against them, the companies that create these security systems should also do algorithms which hide important data from the company.  This would then safeguard the user from racism or other privacy-eluding acts that would allow the company to figure out the users color, race, gender, and in some highly technological security systems, their thoughts.

Another issue that I would like to get into would be the issue regarding the national DNA database for newborns.  Although this doesn't seem like biometrics, under the shell it is being used as an uniquely identifiable source, which categorizes it as biometrics.

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