The truth of the matter is the biometric templates for identity enrolment that are stored on a server are not in the real since images rather they are mathematical representations of the data points that the biometric algorithm is able to extract from the scanned fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein or iris. The identifying template is a binary file that has a series of zeros and ones. The algorithm then uses the template in a positive way for the identification of an individual during subsequent fingerprint scans. Therefore it is safe to say that no image is ever stored or even transmitted across any network. Furthermore, the algorithms are usually one way-based meaning that it is impossible for the recreation of the original biometric image when a template has been extracted. It is hence nearly impossible to reverse engineer the data that has been set to positively identify an individual and in the process mange to successfully steal the biometric identity of that individual (Rhodes, 2003) Biometric systems that involve fingerprints have matures and have become more sophisticated over the years. It has become impossible to photocopy or even mold an individual's fingerprint. Vascular biometrics on the other hand requires a flow of blood in the veins for near infrared light to capture successfully the finger or palm vein pattern. Furthermore the biometric systems require the physical presence of individuals for any identification, it rather impossible to enroll in biometric systems with the use of anything apart from an individual's physical characteristics.
On the other hand the use of the term nearly impossible when it comes to the reversing of biometric data means that it is certainly possible that hackers can reverse engineer the biometric data and thereafter recreate an image. These systems undermine privacy by making the theft of an individual's identity a more likely occurrence (Wade, 2012). Once a biometric image has been stolen and used for theft or fraud it cannot be revoked since no one can make changes on their fingerprints.
Whether or not the biometric systems offer privacy benefits lies on how correctly...
organizations that have implemented the use of biometric systems often are not very open on their intentions of operating this systems this therefore build mistrust of the technologies and this leads to some questions being asked. Biometric information's often reveals information of an individual and therefore be protected fully and appropriately in the biometric system. Therefore every biometric system should have a privacy impact assessment completed before it is procured of the process of its development sets off. These assessments should consider whether the biometric systems are proportionate and an acceptable solution to the problem at hand. They should also put into consideration whether the application should seek to identify or authenticate the users and if so whether it is necessary to capture an image when they are being enrolled or whether templates alone are sufficient for the delivery of the necessary functions. It is essential for the nurturing and protection of the trust that the public has on biometric systems. Just a single breach in the privacy of an individual when a biometric system is used can lead to the destruction of the confidence in all biometrics since stolen biometrics cannot be replaced.
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