Biometric authentication technology is vital in security, especially at airports, due to unauthorised immigration and terrorism
Biometric authentication is finding more and more parts of the human body to prove we really are who we say we are. But will it ever fulfil the promise of so many sci-fi representations? And will it ever be worth pursuing in preference to simpler checks?
They are at once unique and universal, and for decades they have been the focus of efforts to improve security, personal identification, and even access to electronic devices. Our biometrics – from brain physiognomies down to the characteristics of locomotion or gait – can in theory differentiate one individual from another, and the study of how best to sort between them has resulted in Read more…
Around the world, systems of identification that employ automatic recognition of individuals’ faces, fingerprints, or irises are gaining ground. Biometric ID systems are increasingly being deployed at international border checkpoints, by governments seeking to implement national ID schemes, and by private-sector actors. Yet as biometric data is collected from more and more individuals, privacy concerns about the use of this technology are also attracting attention. Below are several examples of the year’s most prominent debates around biometrics.
- FRANCE: In early March, the French National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) passed a law proposing the creation of a Read more…
Six-year-old Susie is excited about her first day of school. She lets go of her mom’s hand, looks back and waves at her as she climbs the steps of the big yellow school bus. When she reaches the top step, she presses her face against a machine that looks like binoculars — an iris scanner — which confirms that she has boarded the bus, and then she takes a seat next to her best friend.
Fast-forward 12 years, and little Susie is all grown up and ready to buy her first car — but there is a problem. The car salesman explains to Susie that there is an issue with her credit, and they won’t be able to finance the car she worked for throughout high school. As it turns out, Susie’s identity was stolen by a hacker years before she was even old enough to know what credit was. Using her biometric information collected by her school, the hacker obtained loans and credit cards all during her school years.
Is this a far-fetched scenario? Not really.
Biometric information is any physical or behavioral information that is Read more…
Biometrics Research Group, Inc. expects that biometrics will become integrated within a wide number of mobile devices in the near future. Integration will be driven by smartphone and tablet manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung Electronics, which we expect will add both fingerprint and gesture recognition functionality to their mobile devices within the next year.
In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show, a Samsung Android phone was demonstrated which included a fingerprint sensor underneath its screen. Developed by Validity, a firm that creates biometric authentication solutions for mobile devices, the sensor allowed a user to log into an Android-based smartphone with a single swipe of a finger. Using a fingerprint authentication system entitled “Natural Login”, Validity will not only enable security access to mobile devices, but will also allow validation of e-commerce transactions.
As extensively reported in BiometricUpdate.com, Apple is also undertaking incorporation of biometric technologies into its devices. Apple entered into an Read more…
Because others have broken the law, the federal government may soon make you prove that you are not a criminal.
Call it logic, Washington-style.
Legislators in the Senate, working to get a handle on illegal immigration, have been talking about requiring each and every person in the land to have an identification card, implanted with a fingerprint or some other biometric detail, in order to get a job. In other words, we would all be guilty until we could prove our innocence, would all be illegals until we could prove our citizenship.
The problem: undocumented workers. Washington’s solution: give the citizens documents.
This plan, being developed by senators working on an immigration fix, badly misreads the mood of the citizenry. The people – liberals and conservatives alike – do not trust the government to do the right thing. Don’t the nation’s elected officials read the polls? Do they really believe that Read more…
When hourly employees arrive at Greathouse Screen Printing in San Diego, instead of punching a time clock they smile into a biometric facial recognition device that sits on a counter at the front of the shop. In a matter of seconds, the device identifies them, automatically punches them in, and sends the data to a cloud-based time-and-attendance software program.
The company’s owner, Shawn Greathouse, implemented the biometric clock from Processing Point Inc. a year ago to streamline his time-management process and to ensure that he was only paying employees for the hours they worked.
“Buddy punching was definitely part of the decision,” Greathouse says. “It was never an out-of-hand problem, but it did happen.”
Buddy punching—the practice of punching another employee in or out when they aren’t there—is one of many forms of time theft.
A 2009 study conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. showed that 21 percent of hourly employees admit to stealing company time. While only 5 percent participated in buddy punching, 69 percent said they punch in and Read more…
We’ve covered BCIs extensively here on ExtremeTech, but historically they’ve been bulky and tethered to a computer. A tether limits the mobility of the patient, and also the real-world testing that can be performed by the researchers. Brown’s wireless BCI allows the subject to move freely, dramatically increasing the quantity and quality of data that can be gathered — instead of watching what happens when a monkey moves its arm, scientists can now analyze its brain activity during complex activity, such as foraging or social interaction. Obviously, once the wireless implant is approved for human Read more…
California-based AOptix landed a deal with the Defense Department for its biometrics identification system that loads onto a smartphone (shown here as a hardware mock-up). Photo: AOptix
In a few years, the soldier, marine or special operator out on patrol might be able to record the facial features or iris signature of a suspicious person all from his or her smartphone — and at a distance, too.
The Defense Department has awarded a $3 million research contract to California-based AOptix to examine its “Smart Mobile Identity” biometrics identification package, Danger Room has learned. At the end of two years of research to validate the concepts of what the company built, AOptix will provide the Defense Department with a hardware peripheral and software suite that turns a commercially available smartphone into a device that Read more…
ABOUT 15,000 people have had images of their faces captured on an Australian Federal Police database in its first year of operation, igniting fears that the rise of facial recognition systems will lead to CCTV cameras being installed on every street corner.
The database includes pictures of alleged criminals who may not know their images are on file.
The AFP say facial recognition may eventually be considered as credible as fingerprints, but images on their database are not being shared with state police forces. Sharing images on a national database could be possible by 2015.
The president of Australian Councils for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, said it was troubling that technologies such as facial and number plate recognition had become so widespread and there appeared to be no independent monitoring of the impacts on privacy.
The justification for widespread CCTV has also been questioned, with a report by police in London, the most spied-upon city in the world, showing that only one crime was solved per 1000 cameras.
An AFP forensic and data centres biometrics co-ordinator, Simon Walsh, said international agencies were Read more…