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Biometrics

Essay by   •  November 28, 2010  •  Term Paper  •  355 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,461 Views

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Biometrics

Biometrics is the technology of authenticating a person's identity by verifying a personal characteristic. Biometric devices grant users access to programs, systems , or rooms by analyzing some biometric identifier (Schmidt 54-62). A biometric identifier is a physical or behavioral characteristic. Examples include fingerprints, facial features, hand geometry, voice patterns, signatures, and eye patterns.

A biometric device translates a personal characteristic into a digital code that is compared with a digital code stored into a computer. If the digital code in the computer does not match the personal characteristics code, the computer denies access to the individual.

The most widely used biometric device today is a fingerprint scanner. A fingerprint

scanner captures curves and indentations of a fingerprint. With the cost of fingerprint scanners

less than $100, experts believe this technology will become the home user's authentication

device for INternet transactions. To conduct a credit-card transaction, the Web site would require users to hold a finger on the scanner. External fingerprint scanners usually plug into a parallel or USB port. Businesses use fingerprint scanners to authenticate users before they can

access a personal computer. Grade schools use fingerprint scanners as an alternative to lunch

money. Students' account balances adjust fir each lunch purchased.

Law enforcement , surveillance systems, airports, day-care centers, financial institutions,

the military and other organizations that deal with highly sensitive data use other types of

biometrics. A face recognition system captures a live face image and compares it with a stored image. A hand geometry system measures the shape and size of a person's hand. (Computers and Biometrics). A voice verification system compares a person's live speech with his or her stored voice pattern. A signature verification system recognizes the shape of a handwritten signature, as

well as measures the pressure exerted and the motion used to write the signature. Finally,

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