Present and Future Applications of Biometrics
Advances in computer technology are not limited to software. Its applications are increasingly having an impact on traditional fields such as security management, attendance systems, credit card frauds, and welfare eligibility.
Modern security products, such as CRT-MA300 and F18 fingerprint readers, bear little resemblance to the security devices of a few years ago. Contemporary security products combine the latest developments in computer technology with the most ancient of things – the human body. Biometrics verifies individuals electronically using their biological traits, such as fingerprints, iris scans, or face recognition. The field has seen enormous growth in the past few years. An old article published in Security Management predicts the market for biometric security devices to grow at more than 25 per cent a year.
A biometric system is a collection of data storage drives and biometric readers. Information about people – their eye scans, fingerprints, signatures and faces – is stored in the system. The biometric access control system uses this information to identify and screen individuals.
The use of this technology is not limited to security. Businesses are increasingly using biometric time attendance systems to improve efficiency. Buddy punching cannot fool these time attendance systems. Sensors will not activate if an employee is not physically present. Attendance and security functionalities can be combined to create a larger system which not only marks attendance but also controls who can access sensitive areas within a building.
Biometrics has been a crucial part of security and attendance systems for some time now. Their use in credit card and welfare frauds is relatively new. Several credit card companies are using biometric ID cards to curb losses due to fraud. Governments are also increasingly using biometrics to make sure welfare goes to intended recipients.
Currently strangers can use a credit card as long as they have it physically and they know the code. Biometrics makes credit card fraud harder because hackers will not be able to steal the biological traits of real owners. Welfare schemes intend to use this technology in a similar way. A curious case of thousands of dead centenarians collecting pensions in Japan made headlines a couple of years ago. Biometrics will make frauds of this kind impossible.
Biometrics technology has been with us for a couple of decades now. It is currently used in security and time attendance systems. This is set to change. Governments and businesses are planning mulling over new uses that will make this technology more ubiquitous.