Opinion: Biometric studies have led to variety of innovations, Clarkson University says
Clarkson University is a national research university and recognized leader in technological education, scholarship, research, and innovation. We conduct research for federal and state agencies who fund grants intended for the public good.
Clarkson has a research team that has been conducting a biometric study in the local school district for the last three years. The research team responds quickly to questions from all parents/guardians of those who wish to consider their family's participation. Some parents have commented that it is good for their children to be exposed to this kind of state of the art technology and to be aware and proactive in how data can be used. The team has had no previous inquiries from parents who did not want to consider volunteering to participate.Research in biometrics has led to a variety of innovations including; locating missing children, healthcare emergencies and identifying threats in public spaces. Many modern technological advances can bring with them important considerations about data privacy. Clarkson and its biometrics research team take these concerns seriously.
This biometrics study is completely voluntary. We have faith that parents can weigh the benefits and risks before allowing their children to participate. No one is required or pressured to participate in the research. We believe strongly that participating in this study does not pose an increase in risk to people beyond their normal daily activities in our modern, technological society.
Studies that involve interactions with humans are conducted in accordance with all federal, state and local laws and best practices and protocols in academia, which include protections such as asking individual consent, limiting access to data, and giving individuals the right to see what data is being held (including the option to delete it).
These studies also go through our own Institutional Review Board that has a mandate of protecting the rights and welfare of humans who participate in research and is independent of the faculty, staff or students conducting the study. The names of individuals who provide samples are disassociated with the data sets used in the actual study.
The study data may be released to other organizations for research purposes only under a contract, which does not allow further distribution of the data and does not allow use for commercial purposes.
Kelly O. Chezum is the vice president of external relations at Clarkson University.