Mar 052024

Fingerprinting has long been a reliable method of identifying people. This biological trait is unique to each individual. To obtain a fingerprint a dye had to be placed on the thumb and an impression had to be made. To determine the pattern fingerprinting experts were needed. These experts took a long time in comparing fingerprints and identifying matching ones. With the advent of computers comparison became easier and faster.

Biometry as it is commonly known has come a long way now. Biological characteristics such as iris patterns, retinal imaging, face geometry, hand geometry, vocal frequency characteristics, signature characteristics and even gait characteristics are now a part of biometry. Biometric technologies use these various characteristics to identify an individual. They have been claims that the many other biometric procedures are unique to an individual. Proving this claim is next to impossible. Research and practical application of these technologies have not produced similar readings so far and so it is sufficient to assume that they are unique. Each biometric application is suitable for a particular application.

Biometrics can be used to identify people. The techniques that are presently used are not as intrusive or do not need cooperation as with the fingerprinting technique. To confirm the identity of a person is all that is needed. Biometric technology offers that possibility. It is unlike a security pass that can be stolen or a password that can be guessed or broken using brute force. Biometry also does not depend on secrecy like passwords.

Security environments can use biometry effectively. The biometric identity of a person is scanned and stored. Whenever the person enters the office building or a premise requiring security the biometric is scanned again and compared with the record to confirm their identity. The biometric form of identification is a foolproof and quicker way of identifying a person compared to the manual system but requires high quality of data if database searches are to give accurate results.

Use of Biometrics

ID scanners are already being used in access control. For identification of individuals Fingerprint scanners and photos have been effectively used. Biometry is a whole lot wider than these. Information systems security, Access control security in various buildings and premises that require security, Law and order department of the government are where biometrics security implementation could be useful. Large-scale application would be to replace the present fingerprinting and signature system with biometry. The criminal justice system, social security system, Immigration and national security could be places where biometric form of identification could play a big role.

Fingerprinting is already a form a biometric identification that has been in place for a very long time. Ink fingerprints are already fed to automated systems. Face recognition systems are also in use with photography and digital databases of photos being maintained. Face recognition technology is a more covert operation than that of fingerprinting. The individual’s cooperation is not necessary. The photo could be obtained through the various CCTV cameras and then a run on the various databases could be carried out.

Vital Issues

    How effective is fingerprinting if the skin is damaged or greasy?
    If the lighting is variable then facial features are different?
    Photos and facial features change with age.
    Is Iris and Retina scan security effective? Can contact lenses be etched with a false iris image?
    Will the issue of privacy of an individual affect biometric application?
    Retinal scan can also turn up possibilities of health defects, if this information fell into unscrupulous hands it could create more problems.

Biometrics could significantly change the way identification and security is achieved. Maximizing the benefits with regard to civil liberties is a major challenge that has to be dealt with.

David Casper is the webmaster of the website that deals with complete security for your office and other premises. Various aspects of biometric security like Access control security , finger print scanner etc. are elaborated here.

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