Increase use of biometrics such as Iris Scans

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Technological advancements have shaped and continue to shape the economic and physical developments of cities around the world. Researchers are envisaging a fourfold growth in the information and communications technology sector in the next 10 years. Biometrics refers to a form of ICT that allows for identification of individuals based on physiological characteristics that are unique to them. These characteristics include facial and voice recognition, iris recognition or fingerprints. The advancement in iris scan technology has rapidly improved over the last few years, and it is estimated that over the next decade iris scans will become a cost effective and efficient way to perform day to day activities.

Enablers:

Convenience: Nothing to carry except your eyes. Iris scans will be a convenient and safe way to perform day-to-day transactions, banking, boarding public transit or planes.

Mobility: No need for passports or other identification papers. Ease of mobility.

Security: Fraud and identity theft would decrease substantially if not eliminated.

Criminals or shoplifters will be flagged if they are found to be somewhere where they do not belong

Consumer-specific Advertising: Individuals will only be exposed to advertising that is specific to their gender, age and needs. This will take away the need to think. More impulse buying. Great for marketers.

Inhibitors:

Cost: Creation of databases of iris scans of everybody. Cost of integrating all the system databases into a network for each and every individual

Privacy: Movements can be tracked by government agencies. Privacy of personal information would be of great concern.

Accuracy: How accurate is the system. If the system is inaccurate that would result in inconvenience, confusion and dissatisfaction with the system.

System Crash: What if the iris scan system crashes? Since the system will be linked to every available system, (i.e. banking, identification, medical, and etc) a crash of this network could result in chaos and anarchy.

Paradigm

convenience vs. right to privacy.