saurav bhattacharya

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The Impact of Biometric Authentication on User Privacy and the Role of Blockchain in Preserving Secure Data

Blockchain technology is a novel solution to privacy concerns and risks associated with the storage and maintenance of biometric data. Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology that shares infrastructure across several cybersecurity applications. It underlies cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and has a potential role to play in identity verification, supply chain integrity, and assured data provenance. In essence, it allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. Data is organized into blocks and then chained together, meaning that it is secure by design and persistence. The key differences between blockchain to traditional data storage methods are that the data is decentralized and it is tamper-evident — or, in some applications, effectively tamper-proof. Also, because each block contains a timestamp and a reference to the previous block, the information is stored in a linear fashion which aids in accessing and maintaining the data. These features make blockchain an attractive proposition for any system that manages and stores sensitive information. User privacy is a major issue in the developing field of biometric authentication. Before the arrival of biometrics, privacy in the digital domain was focused on the area of preventing the unauthorized collection of personal data and its misuse. However, in the context of biometric authentication, the collection of a biometric sample, such as a fingerprint, is only the start of the process. Once that data is captured, it is turned into a template, a mathematical representation of the sample, and it is this data that is actually used by the system. It is therefore necessary only to gain access to the template data in order for an individual's biometric data to be compromised. Also, biometric data, once stolen or otherwise obtained, cannot be replaced and individuals are forced to live with the increased risk of identity theft for the remainder of their lives. For these and many other legal, social, and ethical reasons, preventing unauthorized access to personal biometric data has become a major focus for research and development in the field.
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