"There are perception issues we all face," said John Mears, director of biometrics and identity management solutions at Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services Civil. In his keynote address at the Biometric Consortium Conference last week, Mears acknowledged that the public perception of biometrics tends to be rather negative because it's personal and physical.See also: Prototype "Rapid" DNA
"There's the perception that biometrics can injure you," he pointed out, telling industry attendees there's a need to educate the public that gathering of biometric samples, such as scans of the iris of the eyes, is not harmful. He said he can understand how people are nervous when the subject of DNA comes up. DNA is in very human cell, and saliva samples collected in a cotton swab in the cheek, for example, are enough to allow an analysis of each person's unique DNA profile as a unique identifier (though identical twins share the same DNA).
In order to Interact with a biometric ID management system, an individual has to do something or have something done to them. These "things" vary depending upon the biometric modality involved.
Facial recognition is probably the least disruptive modality because all it requires is that an individual turn their face toward a camera. DNA is probably the most disruptive because one must part with a piece of themselves. There'a a big difference between taking a picture and putting something in someone's mouth. The other modalities fall somewhere between these two on the annoyance/fear scale.
It is, therefore, very difficult to discuss "Biometrics" all at once in terms of the general public's perceptions of interacting with biometric systems.