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Biometrics

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  1. Context.
  2. What are biometrics?
  3. How biometrics work.
  4. Adoption of biometrics.
  5. Applications.
  6. Advantages.
  7. Disadvantages.
  8. Concerns regarding new technology.
  9. Bioinfoethics.
  10. References.

Increasing international communications in volume and diversity (physical or virtual) as well as increasing threats (terrorism, piracy...) appeal for a need to identify individuals. Indeed, important issues raise the numbers of terrorists, criminals and so on. People can prove their identity through what they own (objects), what they know (immaterial passes) and what they are (Biometrics). Many access controls fail because they use classical tools to identify people and grant them access, i.e. card, key, password... The fact is that people tend to accumulate codes and finally forget them, they can lose their keys as well, and their passes can be stolen: identification should be based on individuals' characteristics. Biometrics are the real-time identification of a person by measuring his/her unique and particular characteristics and comparing them to a database. The physiological category tends to be more reliable because these characteristics are better resistant to stress and are less prone to change during your lifetime (a face will vary with the age of an individual for example, but fingerprints, iris, voice, DNA, blood...are very stable).

[...] However, retailers should implement biometrics technology and install biometric scanners. This would give them the relative advantage over other retailers, as they would be able to recognize each customer uniquely. This valuable information could be used by businesses for individual marketing campaigns. By providing convenience and security through biometrics, businesses, merchants and service providers would gain trust among their existing customers and would certainly attract new ones, and therefore expanding and increasing their revenues and promote their business. In auto-industry, biometric sensors installed in automobiles could identify the driver, adjust the mirrors, seat position and climate control. [...]


[...] Some examples of where biometrics are being trialled out are at school, airports such as Gatwick in England, banks, universities, with its main objective of heightening security. The results of biometrics success are not clearly visible due to its complexity, however consumers are able to read about its growing success in forms of the media Applications The three market leaders are NEC with a 60% market share revenue this year, and SagemMorpho and Motorola who develop, produce and implement their own systems. [...]


[...] Low acceptance of biometrics may be due to the novelty of the subject. Low portability of the screening devices especially the facial and eye scanners is due to their size and complexity (Pons, 2006). Even though the accuracy rates are higher than in traditional identification technologies the biometric scanners produce of false positive and of false negative results (Jain and Pankanti, 2006). (See appendix 8. Concerns regarding new technology Before identification technologies gain widespread acceptance there are several concerns that need to be addressed. [...]

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