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Biometric Technology

        BIOMETRICS refers to  the automatic   identification of  a  person based   on    his physiological / behavioral  characteristics. This method of  identification is preferred for various reasons;the person to be identified is required to be physically present at the point of  identification; identification based on biometric techniques obviates the need to remember a password or carry a token. With the increased use of computers or  vehicles of  information technology, it is necessary to restrict access to sensitive or personal  data.  By  replacing PINs, biometric   techniques  can   potentially  prevent unauthorized access to fraudulent use of ATMs, cellular phones, smart cards, desktop PCs,  workstations, and computer networks. PINs  and passwords may be forgotten, and token based methods of  identification  like passports and driver’s  licenses  may be forged, stolen,  or lost .Thus biometric   systems  of   identification  are   enjoying a renewed interest. Various  types of biometric systems are being used  for real–time identification ; the most popular  are  based  on   face   recognition   and  fingerprint matching. However there are other biometric systems that utilize iris and retinal scan, speech,  facial  thermo grams, and hand geometry.

               A  biometric  system  is  essentially  a pattern   recognition system,  which   makes  a personal identification by determining  the authenticity of a specific physiological or behavioral  characteristics possessed by the  user. An  important issue in designing a practical  system is to determine  how an  individual is  identified.  Depending on the context, a  biometric system can be either a verification (authentication) system or an  identification system. There  are  two  different  ways  to  resolve  a   person’s   identity :  Verification  and Identification. Verification  ( Am  I  whom I claim  I  am ?)   involves  confirming  or denying a person’s  claimed identity. In Identification one has to establish a person’s identity  (whom am  I?). Each one  of these approaches  has its own complexities and could probably be solved best by a certain biometric system.

                                               Biometrics  is rapidly evolving technology, which is  being  used  in forensics such as criminal identification and prison security, and has the potential to be used in a large range of civilian application areas . Biometrics can be used transactions conducted via telephone and  Internet (electronic  commerce and  electronic banking) . In  automobiles, biometrics can replace keys with key -less entry devices.

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