Post sponsored by

Source: Privacy Commissioner

Biometric recognition, or biometrics, is automated recognition of individuals based on biological or behavioural characteristics. Biometric information is personal information and is regulated by the Privacy Act. Biometric information is particularly sensitive and requires careful assessment before use. The increasing role of biometric technologies in the lives of New Zealanders has led to calls for greater regulation of biometrics. Other countries are also considering how best to regulate these technologies and some have enacted specific regulatory frameworks for biometrics. This paper sets out the position of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) on how the Privacy Act regulates biometrics. It is intended to inform decision-making about biometrics by all agencies covered by the Privacy Act, in both the public and private sectors. To learn more about how we developed this paper, read our blog post here.