Is the recognition of fingerprints a biometrics

What is biometrics?

Biometric data are biological measurements - or physical characteristics - that are used to identify people. Fingerprint mapping, face recognition, and retina scans are the most popular forms of this technology. But there are many more:

According to researchers, the shape of an ear, the way someone sits and walks, individual body odors, vein patterns, and even facial features are all clearly assignable features.

Since physical characteristics are relatively unchangeable and individual even in twins, they are used to replace or at least support password systems for computers and cell phones as well as for rooms and buildings with restricted access.

Confidential documents are also protected with the help of complex biometric data. Citibank is already using speech recognition and the British bank Halifax is testing devices that can verify customers' identities using heartbeat monitoring. Ford is even considering installing biometric sensors in cars.

Biometric data is being incorporated into electronic passports around the world. In the US, electronic passports are equipped with a chip that stores a digital photo of the face, fingerprint or iris. In addition, the passports are equipped with a technology that prevents the chip from being read by unauthorized data readers and the data from being spied on.

Improvements in biometrics

Biometric scanners are becoming more and more sophisticated. The face recognition technology on Apple's iPhone X, for example, projects 30,000 infrared points onto the user's face in order to authenticate them using a pattern matching. According to Apple, the probability of an error in this comparison is one in a million.

The new LG V30 smartphone combines face and voice recognition with fingerprint scans and stores the data exclusively on the phone for more security. The sensor manufacturer CrucialTec combines its fingerprint scanners with a heart rate sensor to achieve two-step authentication. This ensures that the company's systems cannot be accessed using cloned fingerprints.

The challenge is that biometric scanners, including facial recognition systems, can be tricked. Researchers at the US University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill downloaded photos of 20 volunteers from social media and used those photos to construct a 3D model of the faces. The researchers successfully cracked four of the five security systems tested.

Examples of cloned fingerprints can be found everywhere. At the Black Hat cybersecurity conference, it was shown that a fingerprint with $ 10 worth of materials can be reliably cloned in about 40 minutes by simply recreating the fingerprint from plastic or candle wax.

The German Chaos Computer Club hacked Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner within two days of its launch. The hackers simply photographed a fingerprint on a glass surface and used it to unlock the iPhone 5s.

Protection of biometric data

Unauthorized access becomes more difficult when systems require multiple authentication methods, such as: B. Detecting human movements (such as blinking) and matching encoded samples with users within encrypted domains. Some security systems also work with additional features, such as: B. Age, gender and height, which flow into the biometric data and thus offer protection against hackers.

The Unique ID Authority of India Aadhaar program in India is a good example of this. A multi-level authentication program was introduced in India in 2009, using iris scans, fingerprints from all ten fingers and facial recognition. This information is linked to a personal ID that is issued to each of India's 1.2 billion residents. Soon this card will be compulsory for everyone using social services in India.

Advantages and disadvantages