Ever since the September 11 terrorist
attacks, there has been a higher level of concern regarding
safety and security measures and a need to improve them
at U.S. borders, airports, and public areas. For this
reason, both the government and private corporations
are turning their attention to the field of biometrics.
The science of biometrics involves
analyzing biological, physiological, and/or behavioral
characteristics that are unique to a single individual
and using them to recognize or verify the identity
of that human being. Today, biometric technologies are
typically used to analyze human characteristics for
There are several different types
of biometric technologies, i.e., iris (eye) scanning, retinal
recognition, facial recognition, fingerprint recognition,
hand geometry, voice recognition, infrared imaging,
keyboard dynamics, and handwriting dynamics. A few new,
innovative approaches are also being examined to determine
their potential for use in biometric analysis, such as ear
shape, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), keystroke (typing)
rhythm, and body odor.
Some biometric technologies are
more reliable than others, but they are all based on
characteristics considered to be unique to a single
individual. For example, it is common knowledge that
no human being has the same fingerprint as another.
Therefore, fingerprinting is a reliable technology.
On the other hand, systems that utilize voice recognition
or keyboard dynamics and patterns are less reliable
since both voices and typing styles can be mimicked.
Because of the high costs associated
with biometric security measures, they are still in
the developmental stages. However, these types of security
systems are currently in limited use at airports, banks,
and other institutions. Now that security has become
a much higher priority worldwide, corporations and governments
alike will have no choice but to take the necessary
steps to protect themselves, their customers, and/or
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