Body cameras have been viewed as a way to keep law enforcement honest, recording interaction with the public. In reality, they protect both the officer and the public by capturing how everyone involved reacts in different situations.
But a recent study shows that adding biometric capabilities to these body cameras could enable law enforcement to spot wanted criminals and terrorists. There are privacy concerns, however, as concerns around the security of biometric data stored in the cloud need to be addressed.
Wearable devices or computers can be worn on the body and typically have communications functionality, enabling data to be exchanged between a network and the device. Biometrics refers to a variety of technologies in which unique attributes of people are used for identification and authentication such as a fingerprint, iris print, hand, face, voice or gait.
The majority of surveyed biometric professionals, 63%, say that using biometrics for law enforcement and security officers to identify known or suspected criminals or terrorists is the most appropriate opportunity to incorporate biometrics into wearable technology – with far less support for consumers using smart watches to authenticate payments, 19%, or using biometrics to control access to data captured by wearable devices, 14%.
Imagine the scenario, an officer pulls over a car with four individuals. The body camera captures the facial images of the individuals, check them with the local law enforcement database and can return any possible matches, for example if an individual has any outstanding warrants.
Privacy concerns regarding access to biometric information stored on the cloud is cited as the most significant roadblock to incorporating biometrics into wearable technology – 79%. Technology, format and cost are not generally viewed as impediments.
Unisys conducted the survey of 54 biometric professional at the Biometrics Institute Asia Pacific Conference held in Sydney in May. Full survey results can be found here.