HOW DOES THE SOCIETY PERCEIVES MODERN TECHNOLOGY? A BIOMETRIC TECHNOLOGY CASE
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Biometric technology is nowadays seen as a suitable measure to increase security level both in public and private sector. On the other hand the use of the biometric security measures raises controversy due to the fact that biometric data are perceived as more sensitive that the ‘traditional’ ones. This leads to the problem of the consequences of illegal access to the biometric data. As it is possible to change password or PIN number it is not possible to change information connected with our organism (ex. fingerprints) what is consider to be a treat in using biometric security measures. This weakness of biometric technology may have an influence on the social acceptance of collecting biometric data. However the actual level of acceptance in Poland unknown. The aim of the article is to present the results of the qualitative research made on acceptance of biometrics security measures in various areas of life. The research was made as a part of the project “Design and construction of a system for recognition of persons (offenders) based on face images captured on photograph or video material” (DOB-BIO7/18/02/2015, finance by The National Center for Research and Development). The qualitative research based on the methodology of focus group interview (FGI) which allowed to make interviews witch people representing the cross-section of the Polish society (taking into account demographical features such as sex, age and the level of education). Taking into account the limitations associated with qualitative research methods, the interviews showed that there are several factors which influence the level of acceptance of biometrics security measures. The first factor is a kind of feature used in a process of identifying a person/verifying his/hers identity. The research showed that the most acceptable is comparing the identity based on the face geometry or fingerprints. On the opposite side (the least acceptable) we can find the features which were less known for the interviewees such as gain pattern and vain pattern. The next feature influencing the acceptance of using the biometric security measures is the aim of collecting the data and the entity responsible for processing them (we noted higher acceptance when the entity responsible is law enforcement agency than in the case of a private entity). Despite the limitations of the qualitative research the result of the interviews showed a tendency in social acceptance of using the biometrics systems in Poland. The study can be a base for the quantitative research on the representative nationwide group.
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