Daniel J. Doyle Technology & Society


The series, honoring Daniel J. Doyle, a professor emeritus and the College’s 1984 Master Teacher, features presentations by noted authors and academics and will challenge audiences to consider the impact of technology on our society.

Since the internet became public in 1992, rapid technological advances have opened the world to many possibilities. With them, came multiple threats to our identities, our safety, and our financial resources. Society has embraced technology, but how can we be sure that we are interacting with the correct entity in an environment that promises anonymity? Companies seek ways to mitigate threats and secure data (for instance, through the use of passwords, the main means of providing authentication). However, it has become obvious that passwords alone are simply not enough to protect us.

Biometric technology is becoming more influential, as it provides a more robust method of protection, using fingerprints, iris, voice, palmprints or facial recognition. This technology, introduced through the FBI’s Identification Division in 1924, when it began storing fingerprint cards, will, in many ways, influence the way society interacts with digital devices. Unlike a password or a smart card, biometric technology identifies an attribute that is not only unique to the individual but also defies duplication.

How will biometrics affect the individual sitting at his/her personal device? How will cost, effectiveness, and the need to maintain biometric traits safely and privately affect the industry? These are the questions consumers, governments, businesses, and all denizens of the online world need to consider as they move into the next iteration of identity protection.

Penn College Faculty Presenter: Lisa Bock

  • Acohido B. (2013, October 29). Implications of the coming of biometric wave. USA Today,
    Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/cybertruth/2013/10/28/qa-implications-of-the-coming-of-biometric-wave/3286381/
  • Breeden, J. (2013, August 22). Marines using biometrics to ID friends, foes in Afghanistan. GCN.com
    Retrieved from http://gcn.com/blogs/emerging-tech/2013/08/marine-corps-biometrics.aspx
  • Heussner, K. M. (2013, September 20). The future of biometric data tracking isn’t about devices, it’s about experiences. Gigaom.com.
    Retrieved from http://gigaom.com/2013/09/20/the-future-of-biometric-data-tracking-isnt-about-devices-its-about-experiences/
  • InvestorIdeas.com. (2012, September 16). Mobile security and biometrics sector snapshot: AAPL, NXTD. InvestorIdeas.com.
    Retrieved from http://www.investorideas.com/news/2013/technology/09161.asp
  • Kisch S. (2013, July 23). Israel launches controversial biometric database. Privacyinternational.org,
    Retrieved from https://www.privacyinternational.org/blog/israel-launches-controversial-biometric-database
  • Trader, J. (2012, September 4). Is biometrics the answer to healthcare data integrity?
    M2SYS Technology Retrieved on November 1, 2013 from http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/is-biometrics-the-answer-to-healthcare-data-integrity.html