WHAT ARE BIOMETRICS?
There’s a lot of talk these days of biometric security in airports and elsewhere. But there’s just as often more heat than light on the topic.
So, what exactly are biometrics?
Biometrics can encompass using fingerprints, vascular patterns, retinal/iris scans, and or voice recognition to identify individuals. When used in combination with other types of identity credentials, it is virtually impossible to breach this higher level of security.
Biometrics work in two modes – verification and identification. Verification involves a one-to-one match comparison, possibly in conjunction with a smart card, or ID number. Identification involves a one-to-many comparison, involving a database to identify an unknown person.
Businesses use biometric technology to control building and information access. Did you know thatDisney uses biometrics in its tickets?
Their fingerprint readers are used by guests to ensure that each ticket is used by only one person. This guards against fraud and gives guests peace of mind that the tickets they paid for cannot be used by others.
Governments increasingly use biometrics at places such as Customs Control locations in airports and border controls. In the future, biometrics may be associated with driver’s licenses, passports and other secure documents.
A major benefit of biometric technology stems from convenience and efficiency of use. A simple retinal scan takes seconds, versus a 10-20 minute interrogation.
However, some people feel that biometrics are an infringement of privacy – an example of too much government control over the lives of citizens. Meanwhile, others see biometrics as the ultimate security control in a world exposed to continual suspicion and threat.