Identity Cards and Fingerprint Biometrics

Posted by in 2017 on March 17, 2017 . 0 Comments.

Senator Pauline Hanson has been in the press recently with a proposal for a national identity card. This idea is not the first time it has done the rounds. – during the 1980’s Hawke proposed the Australia Card, which was then followed some years later during the mid-2000’s an idea tabled by Howard of a National Identity Card.

So what makes this latest idea new? The inclusion of fingerprint biometric identity.  So what, you may ask. But, if you think about this a little deeper, it starts to raise the issue of privacy and identity fears. More specifically, questions begin to be asked around the subject of biometrics and biometric identifiers such as fingerprints.

Under the current Australian Privacy Act, biometric data used to identify a person is classed as a form of sensitive information. Generally speaking,  there is no need for consent of an individual to collect personal information but consent is required to collect their sensitive information. What defines consent? It needs to be voluntary, informed and up-to-date.  This is an important point to be remembered for later in this article.

 My apologies but this is where the discussion starts to get a little boring, but important. A person can use or disclose personal information for a secondary purpose, if that purpose is related to the purpose of the original collection and would be reasonably expected by the individual. The privacy act, however,  treats sensitive information a bit differently: the secondary purpose must be directly related to the purpose of the original collection, not just ‘related’.

The practical implication of this, consent’, is we can’t rely on a notification in the Privacy Policy to justify a new and different use of an individual’s sensitive information.

 So getting back to Senator Hanson’s proposal. Identity cards would need to have a biometric identifier embedded in them, and you couldn’t access a government service unless you have a card. This means a person has to register and provide a fingerprint to access government benefits and services.

 How is consent given voluntarily when you are forced to provide biometric information to access various benefits and services? Will this mean the governments are going to override the Privacy Act?

The collection, use or disclosure of personal and sensitive information has to be duly and carefully considered…but not if you are using a fingerprint lock!

So the good news…our fingerprint locks do not keep your fingerprints stored. If ever, our locks could be hacked, there is no way of identifying, using or disclosing an individual. Your fingerprints are converted to a binary code, encrypted and then stored in memory. Rest easy knowing your identity is safe and secure.

Our latest Smart lock will just do that. As added security, your smart phone will track who accesses your lock and when. You can confidently know your greatest asset, your home, is protected.

Tags: smart lock, Ultraloq Last update: March 17, 2017

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