Biometric Identification System and Its Real-World Use Cases- 3 Important Points

Introduce to Biometric Identification System

In today’s era of technological advancements, biometrics are considered the most reliable method of authenticating and identifying individuals. By utilizing unique biological characteristics, individuals from anywhere around the globe can be verified accurately in mere seconds.

Biometric Authentication System

Biometric authentication systems determine whether the person is who they claim to be while accessing a system or resource. It involves the process of making a comparison between the data collected for the person’s characteristics against that person’s “biometric template” to identify resemblance.

To put it simply, biometric authentication answers the question “Are you indeed Mr. ABC?”

Biometric Identification System

Biometric identification systems are responsible for determining the identity of an individual with complete confidence. This is enabled by capturing a unique feature of the person, be it a photo of their face, a voice recording, or their fingerprint. The data collected is then compared with the information stored in a biometric database.

It simply answers the question “Who are you?”

Biometric Identifiers

For biometric identification, measurable and distinctively human characteristics are used to label individuals. These identifiers are generally categorized as behavioral or physiological characteristics.

Physiological Measurements

Physiological characteristics can be either biological or morphological. Morphological identifiers consist of fingerprints, iris and retina details, vein patterns, and the person’s hand or face shape. The biological analysis is mainly done through DNA, saliva, or blood samples and is often used in law enforcement by police forensics and medical teams.

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Behavioral Measurements

The most common behavioral techniques used for biometric identification are:

  • Voice recognition
  • Gesture Analysis
  • Signature Dynamics
  • Keystroke Dynamics
  • Gait Analysis
  • Mouse Use Characteristics

Identity and Biometrics

Three possible things can be used to verify and authenticate an individual.

  1. Through something they have (e.g. an ID document, a utility bill, or even a work badge)
  2. Through something they know (e.g. their password or middle name)
  3. Through their physical characteristics (e.g. their fingerprint or facial features)

Biometric identification has several benefits as it ensures a high level of security and guarantees accuracy. Unlike passwords, documents, and badges, data collected through iris or face biometrics cannot be forged or forgotten. For similar reasons, many industries are making use of biometric identification to improve their efficiency and to avoid fraud.

Which Industries are Using Biometric ID Systems?

Historically, biometrics have been increasingly used for criminal identification or military access control under a firmly regulated technical and legal framework. Today, sectors such as airlines, banking, mobile commerce, legal and retail have also demonstrated an appetite for the benefits of biometric Identity systems. This is due to the elevated use and acceptance of biometrics in smartphones, as Androids and iPhones both require authentication prior to unlocking through fingerprint and face recognition.

Use Case #1 – Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement

Organizations like Interpol (The International Criminal Police Organization) and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) have long been utilizing biometrics for criminal investigations. The Chinese Police have adopted an Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) to enable cross-checking of inmate fingerprints and finding potential matches within their databases to curb high crime rates. Additionally, biometrics are also widely used by the jail authorities and public safety departments for safely and securely managing prisoner identities.

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Use Case #2 – Airport Security

Airport Security
Airport Security

A common goal shared by airports worldwide is to make the terminal journey more seamless for passengers. Biometric ID systems are being used in numerous international airports for verifying passenger identities. Iris recognition is generally the leading biometric system choice for immigration control. In order to enable iris recognition, passengers are first registered by having their faces and iris captured by a camera. Next, the biometric information is stored on an online database to allow accurate identification of onboarding travelers. This way, instead of waiting in a queue to proceed, passengers simply walk into a booth, look into a camera and have their iris scanned to have their identity verified.

Use Case #3 – Transaction Authentication in Banks

Transaction Authentication in BanksTransaction Authentication in Banks
Transaction Authentication in Banks

Biometric usage in the financial sector has greatly increased throughout the world. In the U.S., the highest usage of biometric identity systems was found in the financial services industry, which accounted for approximately 28% of total biometric technology use. As global financial organizations become more digitally advanced, banks are employing biometrics to improve employee and customer identity management. By integrating face biometrics, fingerprint, and iris scans into their systems, banks are able to increase the security of transactions, combat frauds such as identity theft, and enhance other customer services.

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