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Federal Biometric Technology Legislation
February 2000 (vol. 33 no. 2)
pp. 76-80

Voters in the United States expect the government to deliver more services to an increasing population in a more efficient, cost-effective, and fraud-free manner, while limiting the size and scope of the governmental infrastructure. Encouraged or mandated by federal legislation, governmental agencies at all levels have turned to technology in an attempt to meet these competing requirements. However, the very personal nature of this technology raises concerns about its potential impact on personal freedoms.

Some people, however, are concerned with the potential impact that government use of these technologies might have on personal freedoms. In contrast with more impersonal alternatives like passwords or PINs, perhaps it is the very personal nature of biometric identification that raises these concerns. This article explains the varied areas of human life that will be affected by these technological advances: commercial licenses, immigration, employment eligibility, and welfare.

The author believes the government's interest in bio-metric technologies is motivated by the desire to improve the delivery of services to citizens by increasing efficiency and convenience, while decreasing costs and fraud.

Citation:
James L. Wayman, "Federal Biometric Technology Legislation," Computer, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 76-80, Feb. 2000, doi:10.1109/2.820043
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