Explanation and History of Biometrics

Biometrics involves using a person’s physical characteristics such as physiological and behavioral traits to verify their identity. They are the most suitable method for the identification and verification of individuals through their unique and specific biological characteristics. They form part of the cutting-edge technological advancements replacing passwords in smartphones, laptops, and other computing devices. Biometric systems have gained popularity worldwide since they are affordable and provide accurate information about people.

There are several types of biometric identifiers classified into two categories which are physiological and behavioral identifiers. Physiological identifiers are the physical characteristics, including fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, retinal scans, palm vein recognition, DNA, among others.

Behavioral identifiers that include physical movements, typing, navigation, and engagement patterns distinguish between humans and robots. They are slightly unreliable among humans since it only requires one to use their imagination to get through the system, therefore, more security measures should be taken to protect the biometric data.

What is Biometric Verification?

Biometric verification involves the use of biometric data in a system to validate the existence of individuals. It serves as a powerful and secure tool to verify an individual’s identity and authenticate them for further actions. It is also a simple, efficient, and time-saving process that reduces client friction and protects against cases of cyber-attacks and fraud.

A person’s biometric data is captured and recorded in a database for future verification purposes. When there is new verification required from the person, the new biometric is checked against the pre-existing one to establish a match and give clearance to perform other tasks.

history of biometrics

History of Biometric Verification Systems

The earliest account of biometric verification can be dated back as far as the Babylonian empire in 500BC. In the 1800s, a Frenchman known as Alphonse Bertillon came up with a means of classifying and comparing criminals using specific body measurements. Fingerprints later came into play in the 1880s both as a way of identifying criminals and as a form of signing contracts.

Biometric verification systems grew in the 20th century, leading to more developments in technology. Semi-automated facial recognition methods were put in place in the 1960s to analyze and distinguish facial features in an image. Speech and iris recognition processes were developed in the 1980s after researchers determined that voices and eye blood vessel patterns could be used as distinguishing factors between human beings.

In the past decade, research in biometric technology has grown, and biometrics have become a part of our daily lives.

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