- The reason for creating biometric identification system is the need for comprehensive security systems. The benefits of using biometric data are concerned with raising security level and making authentication and identification processes easy, convenient and fast (Data protection working party 2). The developments in biometric technologies have made many operations more accessible and convenient both for those, identifying other people and the people that are being identified. At the same time the usage of biometric data is associated with a wide range of concerns related to personal and information privacy, such as unauthorized data collection, unauthorized use, using biometric data as a unique identifier to monitor, track and link person’s daily activities and unauthorized disclosure. Despite these concerns, I do not object to my fingerprints or facial features to be encoded into my passport. In my opinion, if someone is highly interested in getting one’s personal data or tracking one’s daily activities, this person will attempt to realize his/her plans regardless of the victim’s passport containing his/her fingerprints or facial features. Apart from this cynical argument, I would like to once more refer to the reasons for including biometric data into passports. As biometric data is tended to be included into documents for security reasons (and modern documents that lack special protection may be easily falsified (Apply your knowledge 1) I consider it reasonable not to oppress the inclusion of biometric data into passports.
- I think I will feel the same about having biometric data included into my driving license due to the fact that driving license is also used to identify the person, as well as to confirm the fact that this person was lawfully granted the right to drive a car. Exactly as in the passport-related case, the inclusion of biometric data into the driving license serves security reasons and, therefore, personally I do not feel any difference between this case and the case of the passport.
- In the post 9/11 atmosphere of alleviated security, unrestricted border crossing cannot exist anymore (Apply your knowledge 1). To my mind, using varied means of identification by biometric data for visitors, coming from different nations, does not need to be introduced as it complicates the system of identification and creates grounds for accusing the authorities of discrimination. However, taking into account tightened security requirements, it seems to be reasonable to use multiple biometric identification criteria, so that the system is more reliable, and proper grounds for identification exist.
The first reason not to introduce differentiated system of identification lies in the fact that this differentiation seems to call forth misunderstanding and have the negative impact both at the stage of applying for visa and submitting necessary biometric data and during the crossing of the border. In this regard, it is also worth mentioning that in cases of some countries the need to ensure proper conditions for submitting and processing loads of biometrical data will cause the necessity to increase the service charge in visa centers and relevant institutions. The increase in service charge is likely to decrease accessibility of visiting the country for nationals of a particular country.
Secondly, unequal conditions for submission of biometric data can become a serious issue in terms of the relations between the country, who creates such conditions and the one, whose nationals are required to submit more biometric data than the nationals of other states.
If a state applies differentiated system of biometric data identification, I can suggest a range of criteria. There are the number of nationals, who visit the country on annual basis; the number of illegal migrants, who come from different states, as well as the number of crimes that a being committed at the territory of the state by the nationals of other states and the nature of these crimes.
- As far as I have already mentioned in the answer for the first question, I consider security reasons critical, taking into account the increasing burden of threats to homeland security. Despite the fact that the reason for establishing security system is important, the state that introduces the system of biometric identification is obliged to create an effective legal framework for the application of biometric data-based identification systems in order to meet personal data security concerns. The legal framework should include the laws, establishing the way biometric data is collected, stored, accessed and protected. It should also create the grounds for preventing the breaches in the area of biometric data usage; therefore, norms, providing for liability of those violating the procedure of collecting, storing, accessing and protecting biometric data need to be included. In case the state manages to both to introduce the effective legal regulation of the sphere under study and properly address the advantages the citizens may get with respect to the introduction of the system, security reasons will start to outweigh the reduction of privacy concerns.
N.A. Apply your knowledge, n.d. Web.
Data protection working party. Opinion 3/12 on developments in biometric technologies., April 2012. Web.