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Biometric technologies make use of an individual’s unique biological characteristics to identify them in their dealings with government and business. Common biometrics include fingerprints, iris recognition, voice pattern recognition and facial recognition, among others.
There has been a considerable increase in the uptake of biometric technologies by a number of organisations in recent years, as society looks for ways to safeguard personal information from potential misuse. For instance, fingerprint scanning—once the mainstay of forensic policing—is increasingly used as a means of verifying the identity of mobile phone and tablet users.
In 2014, the Australian Institute of Criminology conducted an online survey to gain a greater understanding of identity crime and misuse in Australia. The survey also asked a sample of Australian victims of identity crime about their experiences of, and willingness to use, biometric technologies.
This paper presents the results of the research, which indicate generally high levels of previous exposure to biometrics. It also presents some unexpected findings concerning those willing to take up biometrics in the future.