Network World to Host Online Debate Over the Use of Biometrics in the Workplace

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – MAY 5, 2000 – Network World Inc., the Leader in Network Knowledge, will host a week-long Web debate on about the controversial use of biometrics for security purposes.

Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director of the ACLU, will argue that biometric technology-the use of fingerprints and other personal attributes to identify individuals-robs us of our right to live our daily lives without being scrutinized and may be tantamount to a "Big Brother" assault on personal liberties. Samir Nanavati, a partner with International Biometric Group, will argue that biometrics provide the safest way for companies to protect their networks and that, in fact, there are several inherent characteristics of biometric technology that preclude the types of abuses privacy advocates fear. Most technologies do not store complete pictures of fingerprints or iris patterns, and therefore they cannot be replicated.

"Network World is proud to bring together Barry Steinhardt and Samir Nanavati to debate this issue both in our publication and on our Website," said Sandra Gittlen, Managing Editor of Network World Fusion. "Biometrics will allow Net managers to better secure their networks, but they need to understand their users' concerns."

The Face-off is just one part of an in-depth special issue on security and Biometrics in the workplace that Network World will publish on May 8. The issue will also appear online at Included in the issue will be:

· A feature titled "The Enemy Within," a look at how companies should be concerned about threats from inside their corporate halls.

· A look at how biometrics can be used in the enterprise.

· Reviews of biometric products like fingerprint scanners, face recognition scanners, etc.

· Highlights from a survey on the issue of security in corporate nets.

During the week of May 8, visitors to the Network World Fusion site at are invited to join the debate to learn more about the controversy surrounding biometrics. Visitors will be able to post their questions in the online forum at, and can expect timely responses from both Steinhardt and Nanavati. Network World recently hosted a highly successful debate between Governor Paul Cellucci of Massachusetts and Governor John Engler of Michigan on the issue of Internet taxation.

About Network World

Network World, Inc. the leading network media company is shaping the future of enterprise network computing through its print publication, Network World, its online extension Network World Fusion (, and its educational seminars and events nationwide. Network World, Inc. empowers Network IS professionals with the knowledge required to meet their evolving business needs.


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