Reality Check - Biometrics in the real world

Recently I have been asked about our response to several articles appearing in global press announcing the "defeat of biometrics". Following is our response to these articles and hopefully we will spark much needed debate within this industry regarding the marketing of biometric products and services while improving the security of our homes, workplaces and country

For those of you not "in the know", let me start with a primer.

Biometrics is the method of utilizing a physical identifier such as fingerprints, facial geometry, iris scanning or other unique physiological feature to identify and authenticate an individuals credentials to access a facility, network or computer.

True biometric authentication is the "holy grail" of credential management. Uniquely identifying an individual and authenticating access based upon criteria that cannot be duplicated virtually guarantees network and facility security.

There are many different types of biometric authentication methods with more being implemented every day. Of the currently available biometric authentication methods, fingerprint technology has been and continues to be the easiest to implement, among the least invasive and most reliable technologies available. For the purposes of this article we will concentrate on fingerprint identification.

Scientific studies have proven that fingerprints are unique at the rate of 1 in 1,000,000,000 individuals. What makes fingerprints unique is the multiple characteristics that define them. These "minutiae points" are the intersection of ridges, loops, swirls, whirls and the position of these features within the fingerprint.

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