Biometrics

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What is Biometric Biometric is used to identify specifics of people by certain characteristics. Biometric characteristics can be divided in two main classes: • Physiological are related to the shape of the body. The oldest traits, which have been used for more than 100 years, are fingerprints. Other examples are face recognition, hand geometry and iris recognition. • Behavioral are related to the behavior of a person. The first characteristic to be used, still widely used today, is the signature. More modern approaches are the study of keystroke dynamics and of voice. Strictly speaking, voice is also a physiological trait because every person has a different pitch, but voice recognition is mainly based on the study of the way a person speaks, commonly classified as behavioral. Other biometric strategies are being developed such as those based on gait (way of walking), retina, hand veins, ear canal, facial thermogram, DNA, odor and scent and palm prints. Biometrics and Privacy A concern is how a person's biometric, once collected, can be protected. The biggest con-cern is the fact that once a fingerprint or other biometric source has been compromised it is com-promised for life, because users can never change their fingerprints. A theoretical example is a debit card with a personal Identification Number (PIN) or a biometric. Some argue that if a person's biometric data is stolen it might allow someone else to access personal information or financial accounts, in which case the damage could be irreversible. Several solutions to this problem are actively being researched, such as Biometric Encryption and Cancelable Biometrics. Biometric passport A biometric passport is a combined paper and electronic identity document that uses bio-metrics to authenticate the citizenship of travelers. The passport's critical information is stored on a tiny RFID computer chip, much like information stored on smartcards. Like some smartcards, the passport book design calls for an embedded contactless chip that is able to hold digital signature data to ensure the integrity of the passport and the biometric data. Only the digital image (usually in JPEG or JPEG2000 format) of each biometric feature is actually stored in the chip. The comparison of biometric features is performed outside the passport chip by electronic border control systems (e-borders). To store biometric data on the contactless chip, it includes a minimum of 32 kilobytes of EEPROM storage memory, and runs on an interface in accordance with the ISO/IEC 14443 interna-tional standard, amongst others. These standards ensure interoperability between different coun-tries and different manufacturers of passport books.

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