Introduction To Biometrics [EXCLUSIVE]
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Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals. Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological characteristics which are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina, odor/scent, voice, shape of ears and gait. Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to mouse movement, typing rhythm, gait, signature, behavioral profiling, and credentials. Some researchers have coined the term behaviometrics to describe the latter class of biometrics.
Proper biometric use is very application dependent. Certain biometrics will be better than others based on the required levels of convenience and security. No single biometric will meet all the requirements of every possible application.
Second, in identification mode the system performs a one-to-many comparison against a biometric database in an attempt to establish the identity of an unknown individual. The system will succeed in identifying the individual if the comparison of the biometric sample to a template in the database falls within a previously set threshold. Identification mode can be used either for positive recognition (so that the user does not have to provide any information about the template to be used) or for negative recognition of the person "where the system establishes whether the person is who she (implicitly or explicitly) denies to be". The latter function can only be achieved through biometrics since other methods of personal recognition, such as passwords, PINs, or keys, are ineffective.
During the enrollment phase, the template is simply stored somewhere (on a card or within a database or both). During the matching phase, the obtained template is passed to a matcher that compares it with other existing templates, estimating the distance between them using any algorithm (e.g. Hamming distance). The matching program will analyze the template with the input. This will then be output for a specified use or purpose (e.g. entrance in a restricted area), though it is a fear that the use of biometric data may face mission creep.Selection of biometrics in any practical application depending upon the characteristic measurements and user requirements. In selecting a particular biometric, factors to consider include, performance, social acceptability, ease of circumvention and/or spoofing, robustness, population coverage, size of equipment needed and identity theft deterrence. The selection of a biometric is based on user requirements and considers sensor and device availability, computational time and reliability, cost, sensor size, and power consumption.
Multimodal biometric systems use multiple sensors or biometrics to overcome the limitations of unimodal biometric systems. For instance iris recognition systems can be compromised by aging irises and electronic fingerprint recognition can be worsened by worn-out or cut fingerprints. While unimodal biometric systems are limited by the integrity of their identifier, it is unlikely that several unimodal systems will suffer from identical limitations. Multimodal biometric systems can obtain sets of information from the same marker (i.e., multiple images of an iris, or scans of the same finger) or information from different biometrics (requiring fingerprint scans and, using voice recognition, a spoken passcode).
Multimodal biometric systems can fuse these unimodal systems sequentially, simultaneously, a combination thereof, or in series, which refer to sequential, parallel, hierarchical and serial integration modes, respectively.Fusion of the biometrics information can occur at different stages of a recognition system. In case of feature level fusion, the data itself or the features extracted from multiple biometrics are fused. Matching-score level fusion consolidates the scores generated by multiple classifiers pertaining to different modalities. Finally, in case of decision level fusion the final results of multiple classifiers are combined via techniques such as majority voting. Feature level fusion is believed to be more effective than the other levels of fusion because the feature set contains richer information about the input biometric data than the matching score or the output decision of a classifier. Therefore, fusion at the feature level is expected to provide better recognition results.
Adaptive biometric systems aim to auto-update the templates or model to the intra-class variation of the operational data. The two-fold advantages of these systems are solving the problem of limited training data and tracking the temporal variations of the input data through adaptation. Recently, adaptive biometrics have received a significant attention from the research community. This research direction is expected to gain momentum because of their key promulgated advantages. First, with an adaptive biometric system, one no longer needs to collect a large number of biometric samples during the enrollment process. Second, it is no longer necessary to enroll again or retrain the system from scratch in order to cope with the changing environment. This convenience can significantly reduce the cost of maintaining a biometric system. Despite these advantages, there are several open issues involved with these systems. For mis-classification error (false acceptance) by the biometric system, cause adaptation using impostor sample. However, continuous research efforts are directed to resolve the open issues associated to the field of adaptive biometrics. More information about adaptive biometric systems can be found in the critical review by Rattani et al.
In recent times, biometrics based on brain (electroencephalogram) and heart (electrocardiogram) signals have emerged. An example is finger vein recognition, using pattern-recognition techniques, based on images of human vascular patterns. The advantage of this newer technology is that it is more fraud resistant compared to conventional biometrics like fingerprints. However, such technology is generally more cumbersome and still has issues such as lower accuracy and poor reproducibility over time.
A basic premise in the above proposal is that the person that has uniquely authenticated themselves using biometrics with the computer is in fact also the agent performing potentially malicious actions from that computer. However, if control of the computer has been subverted, for example in which the computer is part of a botnet controlled by a hacker, then knowledge of the identity of the user at the terminal does not materially improve network security or aid law enforcement activities.
Biometrics have been considered also instrumental to the development of state authority (to put it in Foucauldian terms, of discipline and biopower). By turning the human subject into a collection of biometric parameters, biometrics would dehumanize the person, infringe bodily integrity, and, ultimately, offend human dignity.
In a well-known case, Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben refused to enter the United States in protest at the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator (US-VISIT) program's requirement for visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed. Agamben argued that gathering of biometric data is a form of bio-political tattooing, akin to the tattooing of Jews during the Holocaust. According to Agamben, biometrics turn the human persona into a bare body. Agamben refers to the two words used by Ancient Greeks for indicating "life", zoe, which is the life common to animals and humans, just life; and bios, which is life in the human context, with meanings and purposes. Agamben envisages the reduction to bare bodies for the whole humanity. For him, a new bio-political relationship between citizens and the state is turning citizens into pure biological life (zoe) depriving them from their humanity (bios); and biometrics would herald this new world.
In Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, surveillance scholar Simone Browne formulates a similar critique as Agamben, citing a recent study relating to biometrics R&D that found that the gender classification system being researched "is inclined to classify Africans as males and Mongoloids as females." Consequently, Browne argues that the conception of an objective biometric technology is difficult if such systems are subjectively designed, and are vulnerable to cause errors as described in the study above. The stark expansion of biometric technologies in both the public and private sector magnifies this concern. The increasing commodification of biometrics by the private sector adds to this danger of loss of human value. Indeed, corporations value the biometric characteristics more than the individuals value them. Browne goes on to suggest that modern society should incorporate a "biometric consciousness" that "entails informed public debate around these technologies and their application, and accountability by the state and the private sector, where the ownership of and access to one's own body data and other intellectual property that is generated from one's body data must be understood as a right."
Other scholars have emphasized, however, that the globalized world is confronted with a huge mass of people with weak or absent civil identities. Most developing countries have weak and unreliable documents and the poorer people in these countries do not have even those unreliable documents. Without certified personal identities, there is no certainty of right, no civil liberty. One can claim his rights, including the right to refuse to be identified, only if he is an identifiable subject, if he has a public identity. In such a sense, biometrics could play a pivotal role in supporting and promoting respect for human dignity and fundamental rights. 2b1af7f3a8