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Privacy and Information Quality Risks: Justice Agency Use of Biometrics

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2012
4 pages
Publication Series

This primer document introduces several of the major issues that arise in the collection and use of information derived from the use of biometric tools.


This document is geared toward agencies that have adopted or those who are considering the adoption of some form of biometric technology. It addresses concerns about the adequacy of privacy and information quality policies that cover the collection, use, sharing, and retention of information obtained from various biometric technologies. The document introduces several major issues related to information gained from biometric tools; it discusses biometric technologies’ role in the justice system; and provides an overview of frameworks for understanding privacy and information quality risks with biometrics. Regarding privacy risks, the document notes that justice agencies should identify and consider the range of risks and other practical considerations when developing a privacy policy for biometric-based tools, and provides a chart of factors to consider when developing or evaluating a biometric technology program in a justice agency. Regarding information quality risks, the document notes that several factors influence the quality of the biometrics information used within the justice system, and it provides a chart with considerations to determine to what extent a justice agency may be at risk regarding information quality issues. The document also provides four example scenarios and some additional resources on the topic.

Date Published: April 1, 2012