Current and future uses of biometric data and technologies
What was that, Woody Allen said? Oh yes:
“It reminds me of that old joke – you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a chicken. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee conducted an inquiry into biometrics.
Don't tell the Australians, they might think the government is wasting their money or taking the mick, but some of the testimony heard by the Committee was a little adverse.
This, for example:
From the viewpoint of conventional science, the forensic identification sciences are contenders for being the shoddiest science offered to the courts. After being in business for nearly a century, they still have developed little that would be recognised as a scientific foundation and, consequently, have little basic science to apply to their operational activities.
The judicial setting increasingly demands a robustness that will satisfy legal admissibility testing and there is strong evidence to support the growing concern that most current biometrics fail to have a sufficiently robust research foundation to reach a meaningful admissibility threshold.
Many current biometric methods receive only minimal scientific grounding and the rigour of testing can often be inadequate, making the degree of reliability and confidence in the biometric open to significant and justified challenge. As a consequence the results of the interpretation of biometric data derived from analysis, as well as the analysis itself, can be called into question by both the user and the assessor thereby generating distrust and suspicion ... We need more science in biometrics.
It would be extraordinarily useful if today's mass consumer biometrics technology worked. So useful, in fact, that the mere fact that it doesn't is overlooked.