Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. They include fingerprints, retinal and iris scanning, hand and finger geometry, voice patterns, facial recognition, and other techniques. The biometric technologies are becoming the foundation of an extensive array of highly secure identification, personal verification and access solutions.
Biometrics is expected to be incorporated in solutions for improving airport security, in travel documents, passports, visas and in preventing ID theft.
Now, more than ever, there is a wide range of interest in biometrics across all levels of government and in business and industry.
A large number of organizations involved in many markets are addressing the important role that biometrics will play in identifying and verifying the identity of individuals and protecting national assets.
There are many needs for biometrics beyond protecting national security and assets.
Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures,
Secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions,
Law enforcement, and
Health and social services ...are already benefiting from these technologies.
A range of new applications can been found in such diverse environments as amusement parks, banks, credit unions, and other financial organizations, Enterprise and Government networks, passport programs and driver licenses, colleges, physical access to multiple facilities (e.g., offices, laboratories, computer rooms, houses and apartments) and any facility you wish to limit physical access to authorized personnel.
Biometric-based authentication applications include workstation, network, and domain access, single sign-on, application logon, data protection, remote access to resources, transaction security and Web security. Trust in these electronic transactions is essential to the healthy growth of the global economy.
Utilized alone or integrated with other technologies such as smart cards, encryption keys and digital signatures, biometrics are set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives. Utilizing biometrics for personal authentication is becoming convenient and considerably more accurate than current methods (such as the utilization of passwords or PINs). This is because biometrics links the event to a particular individual (a password or token may be used by someone other than the authorized user), is convenient (nothing to carry or remember), accurate (it provides for positive authentication), can provide an audit trail and is becoming more socially acceptable and inexpensive.