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Biometric Systems

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Essay title: Biometric Systems

Biometric Systems

As defined in Computer Security Basics by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

Biometrics is the use of a persons unique physiological, behavioral, and

morphological characteristics to provide positive personal identification.

Biometric systems that are currently avaiable today examine fingerprints,

handprints, and retina patterns. Systems that are close to biometrics but are

not classified as such are behavioral systems such as voice, signature and

keystroke systems. They test patterns of behavior not parts of the body.

It seems that in the world of biometrics that the more effective the

device, the less willing people will be to accept it. Retina pattern devices

are the most reliable but most people hate the idea of a laser shooting into

their eye. Yet something such as monitoring keystroke patters people don't mind,

but it's not nearly as effective.

Biometric verification is forecast to be a multibillion dollar market in

this decade. There is no doubt that financial credit and debit cards are going

to be the biggest part of the biometric market. There are also many

significant niche markets which are growing rapidly. For example, biometric

identification cards are being used at a university in Georgia to allow students

to get their meals, and in a Maryland day care center to ensure that the right

person picks up the right child. In Los Angeles, they are using fingerprints to

stop welfare fraud. And they're also being used by frequent business travellers

for rapid transit through immigration and customs in Holland, and now at JFK and

Newark airports in the United States. It could also be used to simply prevent

one employee from "punching in" for some one else, or to prevent someone from


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