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Opening Case Study
Biometric Scanning
Technology that scans palm prints, eyes, and voices to allow access into rooms or
data and to verify identities is on the rise (Nichols, 2010b). Based on biometrics,
these devices recognize individuals by analyzing the unique characteristics of
their body or behavior. With advances in technology there are more advanced
biometric devices that do full body scans that the Department of Homeland
Security has announced will be in 11 U.S. airports in 2010. As more scanning
takes place, however, there is a concern by citizens and privacy advocates of
the risks of personal information getting into the wrong hands. The question
becomes what safeguards are in place to protect the privacy of individuals?
An example of the use of this technology comes from the Maryland Correc-
tional Adjustment Center. A Baltimore inmate conned his way out of prison by
pretending to be someone else. The inmate was released by mistake but was
recaptured 24 hours later. To prevent future mishaps, the Maryland Division
of Corrections will be implementing electronic fingerprint scanning as part of
its inmate release policy and procedures.
Another example can be found in Bergen County, New Jersey. The Depart-
ment of Human Services (DHS) needs to estimate the homeless individuals that
receive services such as food, medicine, and shelter (Nichols, 2010b). But many
Information Security
and Privacy
Chapter 10
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