Future Emerging Technology

Future Emerging Technology

FET Assignment 2 - Biometrics

1.0 Describe the Technology

1.1 What is Biometrics?

Biometrics refers to methods for uniquely recognising humans based upon one or more basic physical or behavioural traits. In information technology, in particular, biometrics is used as a form of identity access management and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance. Various biometric traits are being used for real-time recognition, the most popular being face, iris and fingerprint. However, there are biometric systems that are based on retinal scan, voice, signature and hand geometry.

Biometric characteristics can be divided in two main classes:

Physiological are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, face recognition, DNA, hand and palm geometry, iris recognition, which has largely replaced retina, and odour/scent.

Behavioural are related to the behaviour of a person. Examples include, but are not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice. Some researchers have coined the term behaviour metrics for this class of biometrics.

Voice is also a physiological trait because every person has a different voice, but voice recognition is mainly based on the study of the way a person speaks, commonly classified as behavioural. (Wikipedia. (2009). Biometrics. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics. Last accessed 25 Oct 2009.) [1]

(Biometrica. (2009). Type of biometrics. Available: http://www.bio-metrica.com/RC_KC_BT2.php. Last accessed 27 Oct 2009.) [2]

Currently,Biometrics is used with humans under two circumstances:Voluntarily for things like: employment, access to special services, information orprotection, andinvoluntarily for criminal identification and border control. As the technology improves and the running costs decrease, it will become more and more a part of our lives - especially in areas such as: the USA, UK, Europe, Japan, Middle East, Australia and Canada. (Find Biometrics. (2009). The Future In The Palm of Your Hand!. Available: http://www.findbiometrics.com/. Last accessed 27 Oct 2009.) [3]

1.2 How it works

A biometric system can either authenticate that you are who you say you are, or it can identify you by comparing your information to all of the information on file. Authentication is a one-to-one comparison; it compares your characteristic with your stored information. Say for fingerprint recognition in the workplace, you place your finger on a fingerprint reader, aligning your fingers against several pegs to ensure an accurate reading. Then, a camera takes one or more pictures of your hand and the shadow it casts. It uses this information to determine the length, width, thickness and curvature of your hand or fingers. It translates that information into a numerical template. If the fingerprint does not match, then no access, if there is a match then access is granted.

(Tracy V. Wilson. (2009). How Biometrics Works. Available: http://science.howstuffworks.com/biometrics2.htm. Last accessed 20 Nov 2009) [18]

1.3 A Look Under The Surface

There are many Biometric products out there at the moment which are developing progressively everyday. Some examples of these are:

  • Fingerprint Readers
  • Iris Scanners
  • Hand Readers & Fingerprint Scanners
  • Facial Recognition Hardware
  • Voice/Speech Recognisers
  • Smart Cards & Smart Card Readers
  • Biometric Sensors & Detectors
  • 2D Barcode Scanners

Here I will go into a little more detail on fingerprint readers and how they work. Fingerprintreaders take impressions of the friction ridges of the skin on the underside of the tip of the fingers.Fingerprints are used to identify you and are unique and different to everyone and do not change over time.Even identical twins who share their DNA do not have the same fingerprints. A fingerprint sensor is an electronic device used to capture a digital image of the fingerprint pattern. The captured image is called a live scan. This live scan is digitally processed to create a biometric template which is stored and used for matching. (Wikipedia. (2009). Fingerprint recognition. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint_recognition. Last accessed 30 Oct 2009.)[5]

(Find Biometrics. (2009). Biometrics Fingerprint Readers for ID and Access Control. Available: http://www.findbiometrics.com/fingerprint/. Last accessed 31 Oct 2009.)[6]

(Key Trak. (2009). KeySafe. Available: http://www.keytrak.com/?pid=175. Last accessed 31 Oct 2009.) [19]

2.0 Why is the technology an FET?

2.1 How does it move things forward?

Biometrics is a far better way of proving someone's identity rather than other commonly used methods such as forensics. It is more accurate and is rarely ever incorrect. Biometrics is moving things forward as we speak, it will become easier and simpler in the future as improvements are progressively made. A question I came across when researching Biometrics was "Are biometrics trouble-free, reliable and dependable?" The answer to this was if a good job is done selecting, installing and maintaining your Biometrics; expect greater peace of mind, less frustration and even cost and time savings. (Rockwood Management Services. (2008). What are Reasonable, Realistic Expectations for Biometrics?.

Available: http://www.rockwood.com/WhitePapers/ExpectationsForBiometrics.pdf. Last accessed 31 Oct 2009.) [7]

There are many common future every day uses in which the biometric field could provide greater efficiency and enhance our lives such as the possible use to unlock and start your car, to open the doors to your home and office, to access account at a bank or Automated Teller Machine, turn on appliances or stereos, etc. There would be no access cards, no keys, just your body as the method with which to gain access. E-commerce is one of the ways in which consumers as well as companies will find useful the biometric field as purchases online become more common and frequent.

(Gary Daniel. (2009). Biometrics - The Wave of the Future?. Available: http://www.infosecwriters.com/text_resources/pdf/Biometrics_GDaniel.pdf. Last accessed 1 Nov 2009.) [8]

There is a new Biometric system out on the market today that identifies people based on their heartbeats. The proposed device looks like a small computer mouse with two metal contacts. When touched for a few seconds using one finger from each hand, to complete the circuit, the device measures several factors in your heartbeat to record your "biodynamic signature." The company says the signature includes a combination of electrical signals from the heart and central nervous system. The sensors measure these signals, run them through an algorithm on a computer and create a digital representation of the signature. Aladdin Knowledge Systems (The creator's of the product) says individual signatures can identify people more accurately than fingerprints, based on preliminary testing. As I can see this is not an existing technology repackaged as there are new products coming out for the technology every year. Sure the fingerprinting is seen to be the oldest form of Biometrics which dates back to the 19th century but Biometrics seems to be growing on us quicker than expected. (Forbes. (2009). Forgot your passwords? Try using your heart. Available: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11523709/. Last accessed 29 Oct 2009.)[4]

Another interesting find while researching new trends and products in the Biometric field was that Biometrics will play a big part in sex augmentations in the future. Soon toys will learn from and interact with our bodies' responses, with or without a partner, while teledildonics will help people separated by vast distances get closer. In the future there is talk about products that respond to vaginal temperature, pelvic contractions leading up to orgasm, heart rate, and even pelvic blood flow. Sexual Aids of the Future may be able to learn a person's sexual response and alter stimulation patterns based on the data. These products will rely on digital biometrics.

(Debby Herbenick. (2009). Becoming a Sexual Cyborg (NSFW). Available: http://gizmodo.com/5403676/becoming-a-sexual-cyborg-nsfw. Last accessed 6 Nov 2009.) [9]

2.3 What does it enable and how & what does it fix or improve upon

Biometrics enables us to determine people's unique body and behavioural characteristics. The most common example is taking someone's fingerprints. Fingerprints can be copied onto a fingerprint reader and it will determine if the correct fingerprint is given. These fingerprint readers improve on the older method of retrieving fingerprints. There is no need for this process in today's world as there are devices that record fingerprints which can be saved onto a database for future purposes. This saves time and money as there is now no need for ink and paper, which Is also contributing to the environment.

Biometric technology is increasingly used to identify people. Several body characteristics (as mentioned before), such as the iris, voice and face, can be used to determine or verify someone's identity. There are a number of devices which I have also mentioned previously that will record each characteristic of each body part e.g. voice recognition devices and now face recognition devices are becoming popular. Eventually, Biometrics will eliminate logins, passwords, and ID cards that you're forced to keep track off. It can give you instant access to your home and work place without the use of keys or clock in cards; instead you use your body parts. (Filip Hajnk. (2009). Biometrics. Available: http://www.logica.sk/file/7877 Last accessed 9 Nov 2009.)[11]

(Wikidot. (2008). Biometrics: A Growing Field of Business Applications. Available: http://itec200itreviewold.wikidot.com/team2fall07. Last accessed 15 Nov 2009.) [12]

3.0 What does it do for Multimedia?

This Topic is relevant to multimedia in many ways. The first is obviously fingerprint recognition. This system has become very popular in many organisations. Someday in the future we may have to access our web design office via fingerprint readers. We may also rely on Biometric systems to log on to our computers. There are many Biometric systems out there that can be installed on your computer (at work or at home) which need your Biometric information for you to log on as the user. Systems like fingerprint reading, voice recognition and even iris scanning could be used in this event. This provides 100% security for the user of the computer which may hold very important information that the user wants no one else to view. Password-only encryption schemes are vulnerable to illegal key exchange problems. By using biometric data along with hardware identifiers as keys, it is possible to lessen fraudulent usage of protected content.

(Umut Uludag and Anil K. Jain. (2002). MULTIMEDIA CONTENT PROTECTION VIA BIOMETRICS-BASED ENCRYPTION. Available: http://biometrics.cse.msu.edu/Publications/SecureBiometrics/UludagJain_MultimediaProtection_ICME2003.pdf. Last accessed 18 Nov 2009.)[13]

Face recognition, behaviour analysing surveillance cameras, biometric profiling and the monitoring and storing of our shopping patterns has made snooping into our habits, movements and private lives ever easier. Advertisers are turning to "intelligent" digital billboards that use cameras to watch you watching the ads. In Germany, developers have placed video cameras into street advertisements attempting to discern people's emotional reactions to the ads. This technique could also be used by designers by showcasing work up on these screens and viewing the people's reactions on them.

(Michael Fitzpatrick . (2009). Big Brother is watching you shop . Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8280564.stm. Last accessed 20 Nov 2009.)[14]

4.0 Strengths and Weaknesses

4.1 Strengths

There are many strengths related to Biometrics, here are a few:

  • Everyone is unique and holds different, which means we all have biological differences
  • Increased security through Biometric systems e.g. fingerprint scanners and voice recognition products
  • Physical attributes are much harder to fake than id cards, you can't guess a fingerprint patterns like you can guess a passwords
  • Biometric identification systems can help identify criminal / terrorism suspects
  • Biometric identification may enhance privacy
  • Reduces the need for key cards and logins
  • Prevents credit card fraud with the use of fingerprint readers

4.2 Weaknesses

  • Biometric identification is not 100% accurate. Tools malfunction. And the implications matters
  • Biometric devices violate privacy. The argument can be made that the government does not have the right to the information that our bodies reveal about us
  • someone could get unauthorised access to someone else's fingerprint and trick scanners
  • Some Biometric systems are extremely expensive
  • A lot of time would be needed to install the systems and they will also have to be maintained on a regular basis.

Although Biometric systems hold a lot of weaknesses, the strengths definitely outweigh them. Biometrics is the way forward for security in the future.

(Amy Zalman. (2009). Biometric Identification & Homeland Security- -Biometrics Pros and Cons. Available: http://terrorism.about.com/od/controversialtechnologies/i/Biometrics_2.htm. Last accessed 20 Nov 2009.) [15]

(Biometric Overview. (2007). An Overview of Biometric Recognition. Available: http://www.cse.msu.edu/biometrics/info.html. Last accessed 22 Nov 2009.) [16]

4.3 Strengths & Weaknesses continued

Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each individual characteristics of Biometrics:

(Orville Wilson. (2004). Privacy & Identity - Security and Usability: The viability of Passwords & Biometrics. Available: facweb.cs.depaul.edu/research/vc/ciplit2004/ppt/Orville_Wilson.ppt. Last accessed 02 Nov 2009.) [17]

5.0 Evaluation

Biometric technology is fast becoming more common form as a security. No longer is it an overpriced system but it's now affordable to you and I. It can secure us in our homes, at work and even when we are on the move e.g. in our cars. The future of security is already here and it is getting better and better everyday.

From carrying out my research on Biometrics I have gained quite a good understanding about it. There will be a lot of advantages and disadvantages. Biometrics is only at its early stages; however it will become more popular and widely used in the future. There are so many characteristics of Biometrics out there today that are securing us in every way possible i.e. handwriting, voiceprints, and face recognition.

To conclude I think Biometrics will revolutionise the way we ensure security in our everyday life's for the future. We will not see a big change in Biometrics until 2012 according to an article published 12th Dec 2008. This will boast many advantages to us all. Until 2012 most of us will have to rely on our modern ways of doing things like using key cards, time sheets, usernames and passwords etc. The future is bright the future is Biometrics.

Referencing/Bibliography

[1] Wikipedia. (2009). Biometrics. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics. Last accessed 25 Oct 2009.

[2]Biometrica. (2009). Type of biometrics. Available: http://www.bio-metrica.com/RC_KC_BT2.php. Last accessed 27 Oct 2009.

[3]Find Biometrics. (2009). The Future In The Palm of Your Hand!. Available: http://www.findbiometrics.com/. Last accessed 27 Oct 2009.

[4]Forbes. (2009). Forgot your passwords? Try using your heart . Available: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11523709/. Last accessed 29 Oct 2009.

[5]Wikipedia. (2009). Fingerprint recognition. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint_recognition. Last accessed 30 Oct 2009.

[6]Find Biometrics. (2009). Biometrics Fingerprint Readers for ID and Access Control. Available: http://www.findbiometrics.com/fingerprint/. Last accessed 31 Oct 2009.

[7]Rockwood Management Services. (2008). What are Reasonable, Realistic Expectations for Biometrics?. Available: http://www.rockwood.com/WhitePapers/ExpectationsForBiometrics.pdf. Last accessed 31 Oct 2009.

[8] Gary Daniel. (2009). Biometrics - The Wave of the Future?. Available: http://www.infosecwriters.com/text_resources/pdf/Biometrics_GDaniel.pdf. Last accessed 1 Nov 2009.

[9]Debby Herbenick. (2009). Becoming a Sexual Cyborg (NSFW). Available: http://gizmodo.com/5403676/becoming-a-sexual-cyborg-nsfw. Last accessed 6 Nov 2009.

[10] Fingerprint Image (2009). Image of fingerprints. Available: http://www.boxeldercounty.org/sheriff/Fingerprinting_files/image003.jpg. Last accessed 6 Nov 2009.

[11] Filip Hajnk. (2009). Biometrics. Available: http://www.logica.sk/file/7877 Last accessed 9 Nov 2009.

[12] Wikidot. (2008). Biometrics: A Growing Field of Business Applications. Available: http://itec200itreviewold.wikidot.com/team2fall07. Last accessed 15 Nov 2009.

[13] Umut Uludag and Anil K. Jain. (2002). MULTIMEDIA CONTENT PROTECTION VIA BIOMETRICS-BASED ENCRYPTION. Available: http://biometrics.cse.msu.edu/Publications/SecureBiometrics/UludagJain_MultimediaProtection_ICME2003.pdf. Last accessed 18 Nov 2009.

[14] Michael Fitzpatrick . (2009). Big Brother is watching you shop . Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8280564.stm. Last accessed 20 Nov 2009.

[15]Amy Zalman. (2009). Biometric Identification & Homeland Security- -Biometrics Pros and Cons. Available: http://terrorism.about.com/od/controversialtechnologies/i/Biometrics_2.htm. Last accessed 20 Nov 2009.

[16]Biometric Overview. (2007). An Overview of Biometric Recognition. Available: http://www.cse.msu.edu/biometrics/info.html. Last accessed 22 Nov 2009.

[17] Orville Wilson. (2004). Privacy & Identity - Security and Usability: The viability of Passwords & Biometrics. Available: facweb.cs.depaul.edu/research/vc/ciplit2004/ppt/Orville_Wilson.ppt. Last accessed 02 Nov 2009.

[18]Tracy V. Wilson. (2009). How Biometrics Works. Available: http://science.howstuffworks.com/biometrics2.htm. Last accessed 20 Nov 2009

[19] Key Trak. (2009). KeySafe. Available: http://www.keytrak.com/?pid=175. Last accessed 31 Oct 2009.)

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