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Biometric Security Technology

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Biometric Security Technology

You have seen biometric technology in the films Mission: Impossible and Gattaca. The technology has also graced the covers of many weekly news magazines. But many people, even though the technology has been widely talked about for the last half decade, are still surprisingly unaware of what biometrics are and why the technology is so important for computer security and personal identification.

Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physical or behavioral characteristic (2001). Essentially, biometric security technologies are used to accurately identify individuals on a unique trait. The most common biometric security techniques used currently are: signature verification, face geometry, finger scan, hand geometry, passive iris scan, retina scan, and voice print (2004c).

According to The Biometric Consortium, 'enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, government IDs, secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions, retail sales, law enforcement, and health and social services are currently benefiting from biometrics' (2001). Though biometric technology will soon be commonplace on personal home computers and small company computer systems, the high cost of biometric security means that, for the most part, currently only federal, state, and local governments, the military, and large corporations will be able to afford the new technology. That said, however, hardware manufacturers and software developers are currently creating and selling products for the office user who wants to protect their machines from nosey coworkers (2004a). And Microsoft, developer of the world?s most popular computer operating system, said newer versions ...

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Mace, Scott. (2004b, February 24). Gates Previews Security Projects. PC World [Online]. Available: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,114916,00.asp [23 June 24].

O?Brien, James A. (2004c). Management Information Systems: Managing Information Technology in the Business Enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Newell, Adrienne. (2004d, March 19). Are Biometrics Coming to a PC Near You? PC World [Online]. Available: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,115289,00.asp [23 June 2004].
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