Biometrics Essay

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Biometrics is a technology that can be defined as measurable physiological and / or behavioral characteristics, which can be utilized to verify the identity of an individual. Techniques used by this technology include: fingerprinting, retinal and iris scanning, hand geometry, voice patterns, and facial recognition. These techniques were initially used in high security systems, however their use is extending into a much broader range of applications. Such applications include physical or logical access control, retail point of sale or banking transactions, and use in automated border control is being looked at. With this new development many social and ethical questions arise. Primarily dealing with the individual rights of
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As the world evolved into a more electronic society, the possibility of using microprocessors to automate identity verification began to occupy the minds of individuals in both the military and commercial sectors. This led to the development of the hand geometry reader. It was a large and clunky device, but it worked. Refinements later yielded a much smaller and considerably enhanced hand geometry reader that became one of the cornerstones of early biometric industry. At the same time fingerprinting verification was being steadily improved to the point where it became a reliable method for verification. It wasn't until recently that there has been interest in iris scanning and facial recognition techniques, which offer the potential of a non-contact technology. The last decade has seen the biometric industry expand from a handful of specialist manufacturers, to a global industry poised for tremendous growth as large scale applications start to unfold.

Biometric Methodologies


As the name suggests fingerprinting involves taking a snapshot of a person's fingers and comparing them to prints done on that same person before. Fingerprinting is the oldest method used in identifying a person and by far, has the greatest variety of devices available on the market. Some of these devices try to emulate the police method of matching minutiae. Others are straight pattern matching devices, and still others adopt a very unique approach, including more

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