Biometric Technology Essay

1270 words - 5 pages

Nowadays, the information is the most treasured asset in an organization, due to it along with the experience represents the input necessary to take appropriate decisions and consequently to have success in the business. Almost all the information and knowledge related with the processes business, goods and services offered by a company, is processed, managed and stored through technology and information systems, thus the security of information has become increasingly important and plays a critical role in the enterprise government.

“The term -information security- means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction” (United States Code, 2008). In order to ensure the identity of who is trying to access the information, the concept of “Biometric Technology” has been developed in the last years. This essay will start explaining this concept and the characteristics of its development through the time. Then, the essay will offer a brief explanation of biometric systems operation and a description of different biometric systems developed until now. Finally, this research analyzes the current and future applications and the issues that surround it.

The purpose of biometrics is to identify a person based on the measure of his anatomical and physiological characteristics. This concept is not new, its history dates back to 14th century when Chinese used footprints to identify newborns and divorce records. In the 1880s, Henry Faulds, William Herschel and Francis Galton were the first who conceived the idea of using biometric identification to guaranty the security in civil areas, like using footprints for criminal identification and fingerprinting to prevent fraud in pension claims. Furthermore, Galton was the pioneer working on facial recognition; he experimented with composite photographic looking for the habitual criminal pattern. Although his experiment fail because he could not find the relationship between the facial features and the criminal behavior, his contribution to individual identification was enormous. By that time, Alphonse Bertillon, a French detective, created a new method to identify criminals. It consisted in the measurement of different physical features accompanied with standardized photographs, which was carefully stored and used later to identify recidivist offenders. Due to Bertillon's system had important weaknesses like the difference in the measurements made by different persons and the change of the physical features of the criminal because his age, it was replaced by fingerprinting (Maguire, 2009).

Nevertheless, it was not until 1960s when technology began to be used in biometric identification with the conception of fingerprint and voice recognition systems. Since then biometric technology has grown rapidly, in 1970s hand geometry systems were explored, and almost ten years later retinal and signature verification systems did their...

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