Interest and growth of biometric recognition technologies surged after 9/11. Once a technology mainly used for identity verification in law enforcement, biometrics are now being considered as a secure means of providing identity assurance in security related applications. Biometric recognition in law enforcement must, by necessity, use attributes of human uniqueness that are both observable and vulnerable to compromise. Privacy and protection of an individual's identity is not assured during criminal activity. However, a security system must rely on identity assurance for access control to physical or logical spaces while not being vulnerable to compromise and protecting the privacy of an individual. The solution resides in the use of non-observable attributes of human uniqueness to perform the biometric recognition process. This discussion will begin by presenting some key perspectives about biometric recognition and the characteristic differences between observable and non-observable biometric attributes. An introduction to the design, development, and testing of the Thermo-ID system will follow. The Thermo-ID system is an emerging biometric recognition technology that uses non-observable patterns of infrared energy naturally emanating from within the human body. As with all biometric systems, the infrared patterns recorded and compared within the Thermo-ID system are unique and individually distinguishable permitting a link to be confirmed between an individual and a claimed or previously established identity. The non-observable characteristics of infrared patterns of human uniqueness insure both the privacy and protection of an individual using this type of biometric recognition system.