Security in context: investigating the impact of context on attitudes towards biometric technology

Chris Riley, David Benyon, Graham I. Johnson, Kathy Buckner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Biometric technologies are increasingly being used in a diverse range of contexts, from immigration control, to banking and personal computing. However, there has been little research that has investigated how biometrics are perceived across these different environments. This paper describes a qualitative investigation of the effect of context on attitudes towards biometric technology. Data collection was carried out in-situ in a train station, an airport and a retail environment. A categorisation of participants’ attitudes towards biometrics is presented based on the data collected. There was little evidence for the perception of biometrics varying across the different locations, though security was found to be a more complex, context dependant notion that expected. The results are discussed with reference to notions of context and the acceptability of biometrics for future applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeople and computers XXIV Games are a serious business
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of HCI 2010, the 24th BCS Interaction Specialist Group conference, University of Abertay, Dundee, UK 6-10 September 2010
EditorsTom McEwan, Lachlan MacKinnon
Place of PublicationSwindon
PublisherBCS Learning & Development Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781780171302
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event24th British HCI Group Annual Conference: People and Computers XXIV Games are a Serious Business - University of Abertay, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sep 201010 Sep 2010
Conference number: 24th

Publication series

NameElectronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
PublisherBCS Learning & Development
ISSN (Print)1477-9358


Conference24th British HCI Group Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleHCI 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherThe current state of HCI is an amazing topology of interlinked topics and techniques, with ideas bouncing between and across other domains. What was once the struggle to identify and encourage the adoption of good practice, has grown into a massive multiplayer game, a global endeavour that makes vast forests of business and commerce possible and viable, and that potentially empowers and sustainably enables the disadvantaged in every society. The game has indeed become a serious business.


  • Context of use
  • Biometrics
  • Acceptability
  • Privacy


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