Biometric security overview

The word biometric can be defined as "life - measure." It is used in security and access control applications to mean measurable physical characteristics of a person that can be checked on an automated basis.

Although you may not think about it, your driver's license contains biometric information about you. Your height, weight, hair color and eye color are all physical characteristics that can easily be checked. However, your height changes with age (16 year old drivers get taller, senior citizens get shorter). Your hair color changes naturally (and on purpose). You can wear colored contact lenses that change your eye color; everyone's weight fluctuates over time.

Biometric data that does not change

Security personnel look for biometric data that does not change over the course of your life; that is, they look for physical characteristics that stay constant and that are difficult to fake or change on purpose.

Most of us can remember when biometric security checks were the stuff of science fiction or action movies like James Bond. However, biometric identification is becoming commonplace as hardware and software come down in price.

Index of related articles:

Biometric security overview
Biometrics Glossary
Characteristics of successful biometric identification methods
Biometric identification systems
Biometric technology on the leading edge
Biometric identification - advantages
Biometric security and business ethics
Biometric authentication: what method works best?
Iris Recognition
Iris Scan








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