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Biometric Data & Privacy

Biometric data (including facial images, fingerprints, iris, voice, and DNA) has many applications. This is in part because a person’s unique physical traits can’t be lost, replicated, or guessed. While some applications of biometric data are good (e.g. improving patient outcomes in healthcare), there is growing concern about the security risks and unauthorized use of Biometric information, especially with the rapidly increasing use of technologies such as Facial Recognition.

Attain Insight Intrinsic can help with Biometric data in these areas:

Privacy Protection

Many private sector organizations are considering or using facial recognition technologies to assist with crime management or to understand their customers better.  Using biometrics and/or facial recognition for these purposes subjects organizations to an increasing amount of regulation, risks of fines and penalties for mistakes in handling personal data, civil liability for rights infringements and then also custodial responsibilities related to collecting and securely storing the personal information that has been collected.

But since today many needs can be satisfied with anonymized data, much of the cost and risk of current approaches can, in many cases, be avoided.

Introducing Attain Insight Intrinsic, the first high fidelity solution to anonymize biometric as well as non-biometric data.  High fidelity means that the match capabilities are as good as using original personal information. With this anonymized data, GDPR and other privacy legislation do not apply, since individuals can not be identified from the data, and organizations can still realize the analytical value of using biometric data.

Visual representation of Attain Insight's Security Measures

Authentication and Identity Verification

The benefits of using facial recognition and other biometrics like palm and fingerprints are now well recognized through technologies such as smartphones, access to sensitive building areas such as computer server rooms and keyboard biometrics used for bank tellers and high security applications.

The limitation of most solutions in use today is that the biometric sample contains personal identifying information (PII), i.e. information that links directly to an individual. This makes the biometric data sensitive from a security perspective and therefore it’s crucial that this information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Attain Insight Intrinsic can remove PII from a biometric sample, rendering the sample useless if exposed, because the sample cannot be used to identify an individual.  WIth this important separation, privacy concerns are also significantly reduced.  Overall the obligations related to privacy and the overhead costs of secure storage and access control are no longer necessary.

Since Intrinsic can anonymize biometric data without compromising match accuracy, there is a compelling social obligation to implement high-fidelity anonymization. Doing so not only safeguards privacy but also mitigates risk and cost of managing sensitive biometric data, making it a matter of social sensibility to adopt this practice.

Identity and Relationship Resolution

Biometric data (including facial images, fingerprints, iris, voice, and DNA) is a powerful input into Identity Resolution, since the data on a person’s unique physical traits can’t be lost, replicated, or guessed. 

With Intrinsic’s advanced algorithms and analytics, you can use biometric and non-biometric data to attain powerful intelligence into the threats and opportunities that might exist in your organization, your customers, or your community.

Intrinsic uncovers relationships between individuals and groups and individuals with multiple identities. If a pattern is detected, whether involving a good, bad or unknown actor, this optional module proactively generates alerts. Intrinsic establishes relationships between entities, events and timelines in data from any number of sources.

Understanding people with Attain Insight's Identity and Relationship Resolution

Identity Classification

Many organizations have found it necessary to understand the different audiences that use their facilities. In all these cases, traditional techniques have been problematic because of their use and storage of personally identifying information:

  1. Retirement homes have residents, family caregivers, staff, medical professionals, registered and sometimes unregistered visitors or strangers that need to be identified to ensure health and safety of the residents, or, dementia afflicted residents who have left a secure area unintentionally aided by naive visitors. 
  2. Tertiary institutes have many valid groups on campus, such as academic and non-academic staff, service providers as well as undergrad and postgrad students, and then also visitors or guests and of course strangers or those with ill intent. 
  3. High schools finding unauthorized visitors on premise.
  4. Higher education trying to respond to the growing business of exam fraud. Is the person presenting themselves to sit this exam actually enrolled in the course?
  5. Hospitals want to know if persons should be on property, and be able to understand and separate between patients, immediate families and supporters (who sometimes cause trouble but don’t have valid reason to be on premise).  
  6. In Retail, should this person requesting credit e.g. fill up at the pumps, take this vehicle for a test drive, try out this product or clothing item, order at a restaurant, have a history of not paying? 

Intrinsic from Attain Insight does not store personally identifying information. It is a game changer for needs such as those outlined. Intrinsic allows organizations to implement anonymized identity classification, which will confirm if a person is a member of a classification without retaining or disclosing the individual’s identity. 

Applications of Anonymized Biometric Data

Organizations can leverage anonymized biometric data in various ways while ensuring privacy protection. Some key applications include:

  • Enhanced Security and Surveillance: Improve security measures by monitoring patterns and behaviors without identifying individuals.
  • Public Safety and Law Enforcement: Support public safety initiatives and law enforcement by tracking and analyzing activities to prevent crime and respond to incidents more effectively.
  • Access Control Systems: Manage access to secure areas by verifying the presence of authorized groups without revealing individual identities.
  • Marketing: Analyze demographic trends to better understand customer segments and improve targeted marketing strategies.
  • Customer Experience Enhancement: Analyze customer behavior and preferences in retail or service environments to improve service delivery and optimize layouts or staffing.
  • Event Management: Enhance crowd management and security at large events by monitoring group movements and behaviors.
  • Transportation Optimization: Improve public transportation systems by analyzing passenger flow and usage patterns to optimize routes and schedules.


Intrinsic’s new anonymization component, announced in 2024, is the first published solution in a new and distinct class of PII Removal Techniques (PRTs) that significantly reduce regulatory and custodial responsibilities by removing PII and are compliant with privacy policies in most countries and jurisdictions, including Five Eyes countries – Canada, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and member countries of the European Union.

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