Biometrics code addresses privacy fears

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new standard to address growing privacy concerns around the use of biometric technologies.

Sep 1, 2011
By Paul Jacques

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new standard to address growing privacy concerns around the use of biometric technologies.

PAS 92 (Code of practice for the implementation of a biometric system) is intended to provide organisations, including the emergency services, with a framework to ensure that they demonstrate best practice when purchasing and installing a biometric system and understand and comply with their obligations in respect of personal data.

“Biometric systems can enhance the security of many systems, as biometric features are tightly coupled to the individual. However, their use in some applications has raised public concern,” says Marek Rejman-Greene, from the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at Home Office Science. “The launch of PAS 92 is to be welcomed, as it takes a practical

and comprehensive view on the design and implementation of such systems.”

The Home Office is inviting tenders for £40 million-worth of additional biometric technology as part of its e-Borders Employers’ Checking Service (ECS) for migrant workers.

ECS is run by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and used by employers to check the validity of application registration cards and certificates of application.

The tender, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, says the web-based interface should include data-gathering, data-staging and the secure transfer of data in near real-time, with the option of adding further services to enable remote checks, which may include biometric chip-reading technology for download and biometric chip reading hardware.

The services are expected to be made available to other government departments and agencies.

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