DRAFT - Special Issue: Biometric Technologies and Privacy

The increasing use of biometric technologies as tools in the justice system (and therefore as part of information shared among government entities) has raised a range of issues around protecting individual privacy and ensuring information quality.

The following resources and guidance were developed for justice agencies by the Global Privacy and Information Quality Working Group in response to National Security Presidential Directive 59/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24, Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security. [5pgs | 41KB | PDF]

Global identified "the use of biometrics by justice agencies" as a critical area for privacy and information quality protections guidance, especially with regard to the collection, accuracy, use, sharing, and retention of biometric information and the importance of addressing privacy, civil rights, civil liberties, and information quality concerns.

FC PDF 1Privacy and Information Quality Risks: Justice Agency Use of Biometrics
[ 4 pgs | 592KB | PDF]

Designed for decision-makers, this primer includes a quick synopsis of various biometric technologies and their use in the justice system, sample scenarios and two quick reference charts:

  • "Privacy Risks in Biometrics" (a useful outline of factors to consider in developing a privacy policy) and
  • Information Quality Risks with Biometrics".

FC PDF 2An Introduction to Familial DNA Searching for State, Local, and Tribal Justice Entities
[6 pgs | 734KB | PDF]

This issue paper provides an overview of the basic science and the key issues implicated by familial DNA searching and its use in criminal investigations. Key privacy and civil liberties issues are succinctly addressed in eleven questions and answers prepared by both privacy and subject matter experts on the use of DNA as a biometric tool.

NOTE: Biometrics.gov is the central source of information on biometrics-related activities of the Federal government.

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