Biometrics is referred to using distinct biological characteristics for personal identification. The Fingerprint Bureau of London Metropolitan Police in 1901 made a huge leap being the first to introduce biometric technology for identification. Since then, there’ve been several technological advancements pertinent to the area and the best examples can be of iris scanner, facial shape recognition, voice synthesiser, digital fingerprint scanner and much more.
The technology serves as a tool that exploits measurement of biometric characteristics on the human body which revolutionised the security industry to a great extent. Human body characteristics are nearly impossible to forge and these security measurement tools are effective alternatives to the typical keypads and passwords. Today, you’re likely to find a biometric system in almost every organisation be it a bank, border agency, software houses and many other corporations.
Use of biometrics in;
- Law enforcement
From local police departments to national agencies such as FBI and even international firms including Interpol and Europol for instance exploit full benefits of biometrics for suspect identification.
Evidence gathered at the crime scene such as fingerprints or a footage from theclosed-circuit camera (CCTV) are then compared against organisation’s database to match the search results, giving law enforcement agencies an upper hand to solve even the most sophisticated case with ease.
Iris scanners, on the contrary, are introduced in prisons from 1996 onwards to avoid thepossibility of accidently releasing inmates claiming to be different persons.
- Border security
Biometric system has proved to be a great help at a country’s border. It allows verification of people moving in and out of the state. Biometric or microchip-based passports hold all the information of its holder along with a digital photograph and fingerprints. Take theexample of U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology system caters digitalized fingerprints and photograph to applicants.
- Financial transactions
Most of the banks today have advanced biometric identification system to mitigate cases of fraud, especially with ATM transactions. Different banks across the globe integrated the iris scan technology in a number of ATMs whereas PIN system is likely to stay unless biometric-based transaction becomes the mainstay.
Other explicit uses
The Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida use biometric identification technology to prevent illegal ticket sales and a means to avoid untimely delay during the photo ID check. Electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers also use biometric data, giving access only to registered users and an effective means to deal with identification felony. Take theexample of Veriface software installed by Lenovo in company-owned laptops that boast a webcam. The software can examine facial characteristics as a user logs in to prevent unauthorised access.
- Fingerprint biometrics
Perhaps the simplest and most common type of biometric device is the fingerprint scanner we see in almost every other office. The scanners are programmed to measure fingertips of a person or allow access through manual ID and password input. These fingerprints scanners are considered a fine and effective alternative to time-clock system; mostly due to the additional data storage features. These can be operated through USB port of a computer thus enhancing security irrespective of its location.
- Facial biometrics
Facial recognising technology is one of the most advancing types as all such devices are commonly found at airports and many other public places. This is to capture everyone from gambling and wanted fugitives whose images are stored in the computer.
The technology works by using a camera providing data as mathematical representation. Once the camera captures the facial image, “nodes”are created by the computer on the face.
The Nodal point is usually the distance from one end to another and in this case,its location of the eyes, the lip to thenose, width and so on. Every individual has different facial nodes that are natural so the biometric scanner immediately recognises the variance. In-short, biometric technology today is quite common and offers the best security for home and office alike.