A Short Introduction to Biometrics

Through the ages, verification of a person’s identity has always been an issue. Many different methods have been used over time, each replacing the previous one when loopholes were found. As successive technologies “fail”, security breaches and transaction fraud grows in numbers and in magnitude. This is why researchers are trying to perfect security systems that are based on Biometrics.

Biometric analysis is used with the aid of computer algorithms to detect a person’s voice, signature, face, iris, retina, finger print and even hand geometry. In very high security situations all of these aspects could be examined, but in most other situations as few as two or three of these are examined.

The reason why this form of security is becoming popular is that it is very difficult to crack. All aspects other than the signature and perhaps voice is very difficult to reproduce and therefore almost impossible to crack. In an age where privacy is becoming a rare commodity and personal information is being publicly disseminated, protecting what is left is an absolute priority.

Biometrics was once found exclusively within secure government agencies and installations. But as the cost of manufacturing detection devices comes down it is finding its way into the public domain as well. Many laptop manufacturers are already shipping units that have fingerprint scanners as alternatives to passwords. Offices have widely adopted fingerprint scanners to replace employee work login times.

As the technology grows and improves, it will only be a matter of time before we do away with remembering a multitude of passwords and carrying documentation to prove who we are.

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