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Changeability and privacy protection are important factors for widespread deployment of biometrics-based verification systems. This paper presents a systematic analysis of a random-projection (RP)-based method for addressing these problems. The employed method transforms biometric data using a random matrix with each entry an independent and identically distributed Gaussian random variable. The similarity- and privacy-preserving properties, as well as the changeability of the biometric information in the transformed domain, are analyzed in detail. Specifically, RP on both high-dimensional image vectors and dimensionality-reduced feature vectors is discussed and compared. A vector translation method is proposed to improve the changeability of the generated templates. The feasibility of the introduced solution is well supported by detailed theoretical analyses. Extensive experimentation on a face-based biometric verification problem shows the effectiveness of the proposed method.