Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communication, Health and Science

First Advisor

Clifton Smith

Abstract

The security industry has undergone dramatic growth over the last twenty years due to a burgeoning of demand for security products and services. The protection of people, assets and information has been prominent among the concerns of business, industry and the broader community. Crimes against domestic, commercial, and industrial premises, small and large, are a commonplace occurrence and security has therefore become an essential component of any facility's continual operation. The security industry has been quick to respond to these concerns through the rapid development of a wide range of products and services. Growth in security as an academic discipline has paralleled these recent concerns. However. the discipline of security lacks format tools that can be used by security managers, consultants and employees when attempting to create effective security. This is because of security's relative age as a discipline - theories and tools are still being developed. Biometrics is the science of using a measurable physical characteristic or behavioural trait to recognise the identity, or verify the claimed identity, of a person through automated means. When used in conjunction with an access control system, a very high level of security can be achieved. Biometric access control technologies emerged in the late 1950s. The use of biometrics has been repeatedly forecast to dramatically increase, however these predictions have not been realised. The reason for the low growth in biometric technology use has been attributed, in part, to user acceptance problems. The aim of this study was to contribute to the security discipline by exploring and analysing the concept of user acceptance for biometric access control technologies. The study set out to define user acceptance, identify and discuss user acceptance issues, and develop frameworks for the identification and treatment of user acceptance issues. Researching the area of user acceptance, and then testing people's attitudes towards user acceptance issues achieved this. The results of the testing process demonstrated an acknowledgement by the eighty respondents to the Likert test that user acceptance is indeed an issue for biometric technologies. The respondents identified hygiene, ease of use and user reticence as low magnitude user acceptance issues. The intrusiveness of the data collection method, enrolment time, system failure, speed and throughput rate, system control, and biometrics versus other technologies were all identified as issues of high magnitude. This study developed a range of outcomes that can be used for the definition, identification and treatment of user acceptance problems. A definition of user acceptance issues for biometric technologies was developed. A total of nine user acceptance dimensions were identified and described in detail. A framework for the identification of user acceptance issues for any biometric application was created. A framework for the treatment of user acceptance issues was also developed. This study sought to compile a comprehensive picture of user acceptance issues for biometric access control technologies. The growth of biometric technologies will almost certainly depend on an understanding of user acceptance issues. This study has provided a series of tools for that understanding to be accomplished.

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