Biometric technologies including iris, voice, fingerprint and vein pattern recognition – once the realm of science fiction and film – are now becoming more of a daily reality. The potential biometrics provides as an individual identifier has resulted in the widespread diffusion of this technology into people’s lives. For example, Irish citizens now encounter biometric applications in many different situations, such as for workplace time and attendance, for physical and logical access (e.g. for laptops) and particularly in relation to international travel. In addition, Ireland is now recognised as a European hub for biometric research in both industry and academia. Indeed, the European Biometrics Forum (a European-wide stakeholder group supporting the appropriate use of biometric technologies) was established in Dublin and is part funded by the Irish government.
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