How to abuse biometric passport systems

How to abuse biometric passport systems Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show that most, if not all RFID/biometric passports have clear technical and social problems in their intended use and that there are clear problems with the databases into which biometric data are being collected, due to use of this data for other (publicly), non‐intended uses. Design/methodology/approach – The approach of this paper is both a meta‐study of the flaws in the technological specifications as well as the social implementation of RFID/biometric passports. Finland is used as a case, but the results extend beyond Finland in most, if not all the topics presented – not necessarily all results to all implementations, but all to some others. Findings – The current implementations of RFID/biometric passports are lacking in both technical and social implementations and pose clear risks to their use, both due to lax implementation of the technology itself but specifically due to the social changes brought about. These problems cause both erosion of privacy and trust. Research limitations/implications – Further research into other potential social implications on a national level is required. The authors fear that the cases presented do not necessarily reflect all the potential problems, but just the most evident ones. Practical implications – The problems with the technological implications can be averted by using the best technological solutions, and thus the best technological solutions should be used instead of the ones proven to be lacking. Social implications – The social implications should at least be brought forth for public discourse and acknowledged, which currently does not seem to happen. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the understanding of problems with current RFID/biometric passport implementations as well as inherent social problems that are hard, if not impossible to avoid. The problems belong under the category of critical eGovernment applications, and similar issues are visible in other eGovernment applications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-996X
DOI
10.1108/14779961211226985
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show that most, if not all RFID/biometric passports have clear technical and social problems in their intended use and that there are clear problems with the databases into which biometric data are being collected, due to use of this data for other (publicly), non‐intended uses. Design/methodology/approach – The approach of this paper is both a meta‐study of the flaws in the technological specifications as well as the social implementation of RFID/biometric passports. Finland is used as a case, but the results extend beyond Finland in most, if not all the topics presented – not necessarily all results to all implementations, but all to some others. Findings – The current implementations of RFID/biometric passports are lacking in both technical and social implementations and pose clear risks to their use, both due to lax implementation of the technology itself but specifically due to the social changes brought about. These problems cause both erosion of privacy and trust. Research limitations/implications – Further research into other potential social implications on a national level is required. The authors fear that the cases presented do not necessarily reflect all the potential problems, but just the most evident ones. Practical implications – The problems with the technological implications can be averted by using the best technological solutions, and thus the best technological solutions should be used instead of the ones proven to be lacking. Social implications – The social implications should at least be brought forth for public discourse and acknowledged, which currently does not seem to happen. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the understanding of problems with current RFID/biometric passport implementations as well as inherent social problems that are hard, if not impossible to avoid. The problems belong under the category of critical eGovernment applications, and similar issues are visible in other eGovernment applications.

Journal

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in SocietyEmerald Publishing

Published: May 11, 2012

Keywords: Finland; Data security; Biodata; Information systems; Trust; Privacy; Radio frequency identification; Information security; Biometric identification; Biometrics; Function creep; eGovernment; Passports

References

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