Sunday, February 7, 2010

Refined Research Problem Statement

(*) Introduce the issue to be studied.

As issues of security are starting to get greater and greater, the general public is really starting to see a gradual shift in the methods of security.  One of the main methods that we are shifting our paradigm to is Biometrics, the way we uniquely identify humans based on physical or behavioral traits.  It seems like this issue would be just as foolproof as the normal password and PIN security method, but in reality it has just as many vulnerabilities and pitfalls.

(*) Introduce to background of the research area. 

Now that the massive shift to biometrics is taking place, many people are finding that the biometric data given to these security machines can be compromised against peoples liking.  Not only are there ways for attackers to gain access and to duplicate some of your biometric data, the companies or agencies that actually choose to implement the security methods can use your own biometric data against you.  Some biometric methods are capable of telling your sex, skin color, race, and even sometimes your thoughts.  This opens up the capabilities for the company, or even someone else with the capabilities, to use that data against your will.

(*) State the key issue, the overall research problem, specific research question/s.  There may be 1-3 separate questions connected to research problem area. Should be formulated in a very clear language in a form of a question.  

Although Biometrics seems fine to most people outside of the Computer Science field, many people are finding plenty of issues with the new methods which biometrics entails.  The largest issue with the biometric method would be the privacy concerns found with the use of gathered biometric data.

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.

(*) Statement of relevance to the field. Define your audience of experts.

Since the advancement of biometrics is continuing, the key issues found within this topic will only grow worse.  By acknowledging the issues, the Computer Science field will be able to better serve the general public instead of merely pleasing everyone in the technology field.  By solving this problems now instead of later, we will be able to truly find a better method of security, be it in biometrics or not, and in the end solving this problem of privacy within the biometrics field will revolution both security and technology.  

The audience of experts for this topic would be biometric, security, and human-computer interaction experts.  Almost every topic in Computer Science correlates to biometrics in some form or fashion, so almost any scholarly being in the Computer Science field would find this problem and solution interesting.

(*) Introduce your proposed methods of study, in brief, if you can at this time.

A general proposal of my study methods would be primarily based on others research since I am unable to design my own biometric systems.  It would be best to decipher scholarly articles to search for methods that would be relevant to the privacy and advancement of biometrics.  If methods of this type can be merged into a singular method, the effect may be strong enough to fix the problem.

(*) Introduce limitations of the study, if you can at this time.

Although it will be easy to find sources regarding the topics that are already designed and being implemented, the limitation begins at the design of new systems.  I have had a wealth of experience in my college career, but it isn't at the point that I can go out and design a new biometric system to solve this problem.

(*) Note scholarly publications (1-3 publications, by title) where you might be able to publish the resulting paper you would write.

Security & Privacy Magazine, IEEE 
Journal of the ACM
Computer Law and Security Review


[1] A. Squicciarini and E. Bertino, "Privacy Preserving Multi-Factor Authentication with Biometrics,"Identity, 2006, pp. 63-71.

[2] A.M. Froomkin, "The Death of Privacy?," Stanford Law Review, vol. 52, 2000, pp. 1461-1543.

[3] D. Bala, "Biometrics and information security," Kennesaw, Georgia: ACM, 2008, pp. 64-66.

[4] J. Woodward, "Biometrics: privacy's foe or privacy's friend?," Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 85, 1997, pp. 1480-1492.

[5] S. Prabhakar, S. Pankanti, and A. Jain, "Biometric recognition: security and privacy concerns,"Security & Privacy, IEEE, vol. 1, 2003, pp. 33-42.

[6] S. Cimato, M. Gamassi, V. Piuri, R. Sassi, and F. Scotti, "Privacy-Aware Biometrics: Design and Implementation of a Multimodal Verification System," 2008, pp. 130-139.

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