Research News: Number 17




Author:  Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

FaCS Research News is a periodic newsletter that provides an overview of and update on research within FaCS, focusing on key findings and outcomes, updates on new departmental publications and promotion of forthcoming events/conferences.

Exploratory research into community acceptance of biometric technologies


As part of the 2003–04 Federal Budget, FaCS received funding to conduct research into emerging areas of risk to the social security system. In this context, Centrelink Relationship Branch has conducted some preliminary investigation of issues related to biometrics. Biometrics are systems used to recognise a person based on a physiological or behavioural characteristic. Examples of characteristics used for biometric recognition include fingerprints, speech, face, retina, iris, gait, signature, hand geometry and wrist veins. FaCS commissioned ORIMA Research to undertake exploratory research with community members regarding their knowledge and views of biometrics. The overall purpose of the research was to broadly explore issues like:

  • community knowledge and understanding of biometric technologies
  • community acceptance of biometrics usage by the commercial and government sector
  • attitudinal barriers and motivators to the use and acceptance of biometrics
  • perceived privacy issues associated with the use of biometrics.

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