metrics related to an individual's characteristics

Biometrics is a field of study which identifies or recognises people by the traits they have. Not to be confused with biometry, the application of statistics to biology.

Many computers have a fingerprint scanner. This allows for some security.

Given those traits, a system can be trained to recognise certain people, with a certain probability. Training lowers the probability of falsely identifying someone.[1]

The traits used are of two types:

Most often, the two types are combined, as in voice or signature recognition. Most of these biometrics are seen as "behavioral", but some are linked to the physiology, e.g. of the vocal tract, or of the hand.

A person may be identified by a fingerprint, or by letting the person sign a document. The data could then be kept. Someone who is checking can again take the fingerprint or the signature, and compare it to the old version.

When selecting features, those choosing must also look at social acceptance. Taking a fingerprint may be ok, taking a blood test may not be. Some biometric data is also easier to fake, e.g. signatures.

Also, when voice samples are taken, they may be distorted, if only a telephone line is available. Telephone lines cut off some bandwidth from the signal.

Other than for passports, biometric methods are also used in many banks.

Related pages change

References change

  1. "New trends and advantages of biometrics".