1. Biometrics – various implementations and the ethical and privacy issues related to the use of biometrics


Biometrics is a unique particular physical characteristic such as the fingerprints, iris scanning and faces recognition that can be used for the automated identification. The biometric technique has various applications in the airports as personal identification, in the government departments to ensure that only the authorized people are allowed to enter through the entrance. It is also used in businesses and other important offices such as the finance departments in banking institutions. Moreover, at the department of Homeland security, the biometrics is used to detect and inhibit any illegal entry into the United States of America (Campisi, 2013).

The technology can grant and administer good immigration benefits, credentialing of relevant documents like the national identification cards and passports, to facilitate the legitimate traveling and trade within the United States of America. The techniques have been used for some time, and its data in the database are a great advantage to the identification of persons whose identity might be questioning (Campisi, 2013). Ideally, the system is very much important for the security issue in a nation perhaps those that have been receiving threats of attacks from the terrorists like the United States of America and other western countries like France.

However, despite the broad use and popularity of the biometrics, there has been the discussion on the matters concerning some ethical issues. The aspects of ethical issue come in the storage system and ownership of the data obtained from people. Perhaps, the iris scan was taken at the airport; the cameras took when people are walking in the streets, and the thumb print taken at the immigration centers are in the custody of the Biometric department database. The security issue is that most of the people fear that the data can be stolen by the hackers and their identity misused somewhere for illegal purposes which can lead to their mistaken arrests. Most of the people have complained based on the fact that their movements are being monitored and this makes them feel insecure of their lives and properties (Campisi, 2013). Therefore, it is rather ethical for the relevant people to ensure that the data stored are protected, and there is no leakage outside.

There should not be any wrong collection, use, and retention of the biometric data information. There has been some level of counterfeit where some groups emerge pretending to be working with some legal authorities and charged with the duty to take some biometrics data from the people (Mordini & Tzovaras, 2012. The issues have been reported and legal action taken against the culprits. However, the government should ensure that the people charged with the responsibility especially the defense forces have the right identity to enable the public to identify them quickly and more efficiently. Perhaps, this is an ethical concern that the government should look at accurately since it has made so many citizens in the United States of America to suffer the loss of properties to the unknown people having their documents with a full thumbprint signature to gratify legality. It is also a privacy concern to make the information personal and not public that anyone can access.

Apart from the privacy issues, the other ethical issues involve the use of the biometrics that is against the beliefs of some of the people and the values (Mordini & Tzovaras, 2012). It is based on the relationship between the human body and the technology to enable it to function effectively. The process of change in the use of the human body as the biometric data has brought a lot of questions as some of the people have raised questions and complained that the technology is infringing their right as human beings. For example, the biometrics that is being used in the airport section through the utilization of the eye scanners for the case of the security issues.

Due to the human involvement in the process to enhance their work and improve safety, some of the people have taken it as an offense and is taking priority over people rights, dignity, and space (Mordini & Tzovaras, 2012). The notion has led to the absence of trustworthiness and embarrassment. Most of the people claim that the technique has led to some privacy eruption issues due to the claim that some people follow up to the others even in the private places. The method has also led to some of the people digging deep into the lives of others with the bid of getting the information to keep in the databases for future reference when needed.


Therefore, there is a crucial requirement for the development that should focus on the ethical issues that are related to the biometrics in the United States of America. The issues are charged with the duty of enhancing the security of the people while also respecting the privacy and the dignity of the participants. Moreover, the biometric fields need more time to study and research on ways of improving the ethical issue that has brought a lot of problem with the people while other have risked their lives and properties to the enemies through the leakage of information from the biometric databases.


Campisi, P. (2013). Security and Privacy in Biometrics (Vol. 24). London: Springer.

Mordini, E., & Tzovaras, D. (Eds.). (2012). Second generation biometrics: The ethical, legal and social context (Vol. 11). Springer Science & Business Media.

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