With the rise of technology, the collection and use of biometric data (fingerprints, iris scans, DNA, and facial scans) have become increasingly common. But what happens to this data once it is collected?
One of the biggest concerns with biometric data is the potential for it to be hacked or misused. Unlike a password, which you can change if it is compromised, biometric data is permanent. Once your biometric data is in the wrong hands, it is out of your control forever. This is why it's so important to understand how your biometric data is collected, stored, and used.
There are a variety of ways that biometric data can be collected. Sometimes, it's voluntarily provided – for example, when you submit your fingerprint for a background check. In other cases, biometric data collection occurs without the individual's knowledge or consent - for example, through facial recognition in public spaces.
Once biometric data is collected, it's often stored in databases that governments or corporations maintain. This data can be used for many purposes, like security screenings, employee identification, or targeted advertising. However, the collection and storage of biometric data also raises significant privacy concerns.
Hacking Biometric Data
One of the main risks associated with biometric data is its potential for hacking. In recent years, several high-profile data breaches have resulted in the theft of biometric data. This data can be used to commit identity theft and financial fraud, among other crimes. Furthermore, there are also concerns that governments could use biometric data to track the movements and activities of individuals without their knowledge or consent.
Using Biometric Data for Discrimination
Another concern is the potential for biometric data can aid in discriminatory ways. For example, facial recognition technology is less accurate when identifying people of color or women. If this technology continues to help law enforcement, it could lead to biased outcomes that harm certain groups (especially minorities).
How to Protect Your Biometric Data
Despite these risks, there are steps that you can take to protect your biometric data. First and foremost, it is vital to understand how your biometric data is collected and used. Depending on where you live, if you are uncomfortable with a particular use of your data, you may be able to opt-out or request that your data be deleted. Additionally, you can take steps to protect your biometric data from being hacked by using strong passwords and enabling two-factor authentication.
Biometric data is a powerful tool for many purposes. However, it is key to understand the risks associated with its collection. By protecting your biometric data and advocating for responsible use, you can help ensure that this technology benefits everyone and demotes discrimination.