Biometrics Reference Room

Biometrics & Privacy

The discrete fields of privacy and biometrics each have a rich history and an exciting, robust, present day status. Both disciplines are dynamic and multimodal. The current state of each is ever-changing and accelerating, and presents both promise and questions regarding its impact on individuals and societies. Much has been written on each topic, covering a breadth of issues and depth of details. Every day, new stories appear of new applications and new theories of both privacy and biometrics.

In an effort to complement and support the vibrant growth of both fields, the NSTC Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management has developed the paper, “Privacy & Biometrics: Building a Conceptual Foundation,” which seeks to connect privacy and biometrics at a structural level so that both fields can be understood within a common framework. This paper is specifically not intended as a comprehensive collection of in-depth details about privacy or biometrics. Instead, this paper provides a general overview of both privacy and biometrics and offers a perspective through which to view the convergence of both. The goal is to provide a context in which details and future developments can be placed and better understood. Additional views and analysis on privacy and biometrics can be found in the Biometrics Privacy page of the Biometrics Catalog.

Privacy & Biometrics: Building a Conceptual Foundation (PDF - 700 KB)

The NSTC Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management Privacy working group has developed a new general guide for technology managers and developers to integrate privacy protections into operational IT systems. This new guide, the Privacy Technology Implementation Guide (PTIG) combines elements of privacy protection from disparate privacy compliance requirements, as well as a administrative policies and procedures into a single document, contextualized for managers and developers of operational systems. The result is a new guide that provides early awareness of privacy issues and the aspects of systems that can be managed and developed to address privacy issues and streamline the process of complying with existing privacy protection requirements.

Privacy Technology Implementation Guide (PTIG), August 2007 (PDF – 358 KB)