Throughout many action movies, you’ve seen biometrics everywhere. It can range from machines scanning your iris, listening to your voice, reading your finger print, or even facial recognition. All of these have one thing in common, a way to identify a single person. Biometrics is a type of security that focuses on one single person rather than other security processes, for example typing in a password or a pin number. Biometrics uses software to identify the person’s DNA, which is different for every person so it would be impossible to break into anything without that DNA. Biometrics sounds like it is a new concept, however police officers have been using fingerprints to identify people for over a hundred years now, but now with incorporating technology, security is stronger but there may be future problems.
You probably use a type of biometrics every day in your life. If you have an iPhone, then you probably use the finger print authentication system which recognizes only your fingerprint to unlock your phone. In addition, it’s located mainly everywhere we travel to including grocery stores, hospitals, airports, hotels, and many other places.
Biometrics uses two different characteristics, physical and behavioral. For physical characteristics, examples like facial recognition, fingerprints, iris recognition, DNA identification, and facial recognition are labeled as those. For behavioral types of biometrics some examples are voice identification, typing recognition, and hand geometry. First the biometrics system that is being used will enroll the basic information of an identified trait. Next the system analyzes that trait and creates a specific code for it. Finally, once that is done and stored away in its software, the next time you try to use the security, it will cross reference the old and stored away trait to the new one that is being presented where it will either accept or reject it.
With biometrics, there are some positives and negatives coming with it. A look at the positives it obviously is a good way to keep things safe. In addition, a study was done using biometrics to track inmates in jail by using a system called Biometric Inmate Tracking System or (BITS). According to the National Institute of Justice, this system transformed its previous basic security system into a biometric one. Iris, facial, retinal, hand and finger geometry, voice and fingerprint, were all tested over a three-year period which would make it an observational study. The results showed that the facial recognition was considered false positives because it was used too often and slowed down the process. With the iris recognition, it seemed to work the best and voice recognition showed it was the least effective. Fingerprint and hand geometry were the best overall because it provided the most accurate results and worked the most quickly and effectively. This seems to be accurate with the world today because of how often we use fingerprint scanners on a daily basis. The purpose of this experiment was to see how well these biometric securities tracked the inmates. They were used to identify the prisoner to make sure they were going to the right place and if they didn’t an alarm would sound. The overall goal is to have this type of security in all prisons in the future and this experiment showed what flaws were needed to be corrected.
The future of biometrics doesn’t settle well with many people because of privacy. Biometrics is an easy way to find out who you are and what you are doing at a current time. But it seems companies are leaning towards the inclusion of biometrics. For example, according to April Glaser’s article Biometrics Are Coming, with Some Security Concerns, companies like google are going to monitor your speech patterns and how you walk and type in order to confirm it is actually you on the other side of your smartphone. MasterCard is looking to identify your own heartbeat to validate transactions. Plus, many other apps look to verify a person’s eye pattern to identify who you are. If you like it or not, it seems society is moving in a different direction coming to security and these changes may not appeal to everyone.