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Proceedings Paper

Biometrics IRB best practices and data protection
Author(s): Christopher Boehnen; David Bolme; Patrick Flynn
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Paper Abstract

The collection of data from human subjects for biometrics research in the United States requires the development of a data collection protocol that is reviewed by a Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB reviews the protocol for risks and approves it if it meets the criteria for approval specified in the relevant Federal regulations (45 CFR 46). Many other countries operate similar mechanisms for the protection of human subjects. IRBs review protocols for safety, confidentiality, and for minimization of risk associated with identity disclosure. Since biometric measurements are potentially identifying, IRB scrutiny of biometrics data collection protocols can be expected to be thorough. This paper discusses the intricacies of IRB best practices within the worldwide biometrics community. This is important because research decisions involving human subjects are made at a local level and do not set a precedent for decisions made by another IRB board. In many cases, what one board approves is not approved by another board, resulting in significant inconsistencies that prove detrimental to both researchers and human subjects. Furthermore, the level of biometrics expertise may be low on IRBs, which can contribute to the unevenness of reviews. This publication will suggest possible best practices for designing and seeking IRB approval for human subjects research involving biometrics measurements. The views expressed are the opinions of the authors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 2015
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9457, Biometric and Surveillance Technology for Human and Activity Identification XII, 94570F (15 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2181981
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher Boehnen, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
David Bolme, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Patrick Flynn, Univ. of Notre Dame (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9457:
Biometric and Surveillance Technology for Human and Activity Identification XII
Ioannis A. Kakadiaris; Ajay Kumar; Walter J. Scheirer, Editor(s)

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