Biometric Database – Would You Join It?

Biometric database has made it worldwide. It became a concern since Edward Snowden leaked the classified information on the mass surveillance program. The Biometric is interrelated with human characteristics. It is a kind of realistic authentication, which is a form of access and identification control. This system has the ability to identify different individuals who are under surveillance by the authorities.

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The so-called biometric identifiers are responsible for measuring characteristics of individuals in order to label and describe them for faster identification and access. It often characterizes characteristics which are physiological rather than behavioral. Examples of physiological characteristics are:

  • Palm Veins
  • Face Recognition
  • Fingerprint
  • Palm Print
  • DNA
  • Iris Recognition
  • Scent/odor
  • Hand Geometry

Some of the pros and cons of having a DNA database are laid down. The advantages of having a DNA database are as follows:

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  • It can be more accurate and objective compared to other forensic disciplines.
  • Authorities say that using DNA database can help in the easy identification of suspects who may be subjected to a possible investigation. Since DNA can be extracted from saliva, semen, blood, hair roots left at the crime scene with the use of a chemical solution, individuals committing crimes can easily be identified.
  • With DNA database, familial searching can be used in order to look matches between a DNA profile of an individual which is retained in the database and the DNA sample from the scene.
  • Researchers who support the DNA database argue that the privacy of every citizen is not violated because the procedure in procuring the DNA sample is much less interfering or invasive than what is required for obtaining a blood sample.

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On the other hand, the disadvantages are:

  • It can be infallible and therefore environmental factors like bacteria, sunlight, and heat can easily corrupt it.
  • DNA can be subjected to human fraud or error in the course of comparing different samples.
  • There is a possibility that overlooking DNA evidence can violate the right of a person.
  • Those who are against the DNA database argue that their privacy is still violated along the process because the DNA samples are still retained in the hands of the authorities.

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“I don’t want to live in a world where everything I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity and love or friendship is recorded”, says Edward Snowden. Also, the news reports mentioned that according to the whistleblowers, the famous USA Freedom Act can greatly affect the lives of the people since it has a potential to lower or degrade the surveillance programs, rather than making it improve in accordance with the rights of the people. That even if the Freedom Act is faithfully and fully implemented, it will create barriers that will limit the rights of the citizenry. Loopholes and other strategies can still be discovered to curtail the privacy of every individual.

Biometric database can either be used for the greater good or not depending on the person or government controlling or running it. Everything has its advantages at the same its disadvantages. So, would you join or stand against it?

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