…also known as anthropometry or Bertillonage, the Bertillon system was established in 1882 by Alphonse Bertillon.
Bertillionage relied upon recording various measurements of the human body that were assumed to remain constant over an adult’s lifetime. The example above from Jersey City, New Jersey shows ten measurements.
If one accepts “body measurement” as a rough translation of “biometrics,” it’s hard to argue that Bertillon wasn’t the very first proponent of biometrics for identity management.
Unfortunately for the Bertillion system, twin brothers with the same name, same measurements and at the same prison precipitated its abandonment for the new science of fingerprints, aka dactyloscopy.
All of which brings us to this news from Australia…
“Body recognition” compares with fingerprint ID (Medical Xpress)
University of Adelaide forensic anatomy researchers are making advances in the use of “body recognition” for criminal and missing persons cases, to help with identification when a face is not clearly shown.
PhD student Teghan Lucas is studying a range of human anatomical features and body measurements that can help to identify a person, such as from closed circuit television (CCTV) security videos, no matter what clothing the person may be wearing.
As we have said before, any biometric modality can be useful, especially when it is the only piece if information available and this one is obviously conceived of being helpful in forensic investigations rather than in wide-scale identity management applications. Nevertheless, it’s good to see the work of one of the early giants of criminal investigation being carried forward into the 21st century.
The Bertillon System: An Early ID Management System
The History of Fingerprints (and the Death of the Bertillon System)
They’re not the only ones — Intel, McAfee working to eliminate passwords by using biometrics (PC World)
Where one deploys a particular security feature can be an interesting call. For computers, most biometrics are deployed somewhere in the software at either the OS (operating system) or application layer. That makes a lot of sense in terms updates and trouble-shooting, but there are more secure approaches.
Is Intel/McAfee looking closer to the chip for the sweet spot to apply biometric ID for access to the computer? This would make a lot of sense, too. It’s very secure but it does foreclose some user support options. If the security is in the hardware, it really has to be completely reliable.
A useful metaphor might be a Microsoft update versus a product recall.
OPINION: The tipping point for biometric security (ABC – Australia)
Currently most of us depend on passwords to protect our online identities. But passwords may be the largest security liability of the internet. They have numerous weaknesses that put consumers, corporates and the wider online world at significant risk.
Ultimately, convenience, ease-of-use, speed and accuracy are appealing attributes for authentication and this will drive the adoption of biometrics.
Obama Finally Puts an End to Unpopular Secure Communities Program (AllGov)
As part of broader immigration reforms, the Obama administration announced Thursday that the Secure Communities program, which mandated that local law enforcement submit biometric information on those suspected of being undocumented immigrants to the federal government, is going away. In its place will be the Priority Enforcement Program, which specifies that those held must be likely deportable or have a removal order in effect against them.
See also: Obamnesty ends Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program (USA Today)
The tone of the two headlines provides an interesting contrast. Few who knew about the Secure Communities program were ambivalent about it.
Our discussion of the program (maps, statistics, etc.) peaked in 2012.
The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutes (Mother Jones)
The RapidHIT represents a major technological leap—testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for “rapid DNA” technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.
One hugely important thing DNA analysis can do that other biometrics can’t is to establish familial relationships. This 2011 piece about the RapidHIT technology mentions that the government found in one audit that 80% of relationship claims among asylum-seekers were fraudulent.
That, by itself, guarantees a certain level of demand for DNA analysis. The other use cases mentioned in the Mother Jones article linked at top are interesting, too.
PAKISTAN: Travel agents protest implementation of biometric system for Saudi visa applicants (Express Tribune)
“We have written to Etimad three times to come and discuss with us the system but they are not contacting us,” said Khalil, adding that if the system continues in the same manner, then the number of pilgrims from Pakistan would be reduced by half.
Pakistan already uses biometrics pretty extensively in elections and travel documents, so this seems to be more about implementation than biometric acceptance.
KENYA: Government officials to be probed over 12,000 ghost workers (Daily Nation)
The Cabinet has ordered government officials be investigated for allegedly colluding to pay 12,000 staff unaccounted for after the conclusion of the biometric registration exercise.
Hitachi: Malaysian bank keen to adopt biometric reader technology (Astro AWANI)
A Malaysian bank is keen to adopt Hitachi Asia Ltd’s finger vein authentication technology solution.
Its senior vice-president/general manager ICT Solutions Business Regional, Mitsuhisa Kajiyoshi, said the new solution would enable the customers to easily access their online bank accounts and authorise payments within seconds, without the need for personal identification numbers, passwords or authentication codes.
Fujitsu Looks To Secure Card Payments With Biometric Data (Tech Week Europe)
Fujitsu says its new PalmSecure ID Match device will make identity verification and card payments more secure by combining a chip and PIN system with its palm-vein scanning technology for multi-factor authentication.
The unit is similar to current point of sale systems and comprises a multi-card reader, its PalmSecure sensor, a touchscreen and a processor board powered by an ARM chip.
It really does seem that Japanese tech firms dominate in hand-vein biometrics.
Analysis of the Global Face Biometrics Market (Companies and Markets)
The global market for face biometrics across government and commercial applications is at the growth phase of the Gaussian curve. North America (NA) and Europe account for a major share of the world market, with this trend expected to continue over the forecast period. Emerging economies such as Brazil, India, South Africa, the Middle East, Russia, and China are expected to embrace this technology, thereby offering considerable growth opportunities.
SIA forms ‘Airport Entry and Exit Working Group’ with SIBA (Security Info Watch)
The Security Industry Association (SIA) and Secure Identity & Biometrics Association (SIBA) on Tuesday announced the formation of the Airport Entry and Exit Working Group and release of its Identity and Biometric Entry and Exit Solutions Framework for Airports.
A biometric entry and exit monitoring system has been required under U.S. law for a long time now. Maybe the time is right to give it a real try.
12,500 workers struck off payroll after vetting snub (Business Daily)
More than 12, 500 civil servants were Monday struck off the payroll after they failed to list afresh during the two-month registration exercise that was aimed at weeding out ghost workers.
New Report Suggests North America as Growth Leader in Biometric Technology Market (M2SYS)
The report suggests that, “the global biometric technology, types, and applications market is expected to reach $13.89 billion by 2017 at an estimated CAGR of 18.7%,” and that, “North America is a market leader in the biometric technology market.”
What’s interesting about the prediction that North America is positioned as a market leader in biometric technology is that it is arguably the region with the most opposition and resistance to it.
Is that irony, or has the American public’s opposition to biometrics been overstated?
How the threat landscape challenges authentication – old and new (SC Magazine) — The growing cyber-threat landscape poses some awkward questions for present and future authentication methods.
Technology Can Surely Help Reduce Hardships (The New Indian Express)
Prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the “Jeevan Pramaan” project, a digital version of the “life certificate” scheme that could eventually benefit 10 million claimants. The biometric-based software means pensioners will now no longer have to visit banks every year to give proof of their being alive to continue receiving benefits. Around 50 lakh people draw pension from the central government, and an equal number from state and UT governments. Several PSUs also provide pensions, and over 25 lakh retirees draw pensions from the armed forces. The software will be made available to pensioners and other stakeholders on a large scale at no extra cost. It can be operated on a personal computer or smartphone, along with an “inexpensive” biometric reading device.
For thousands of years, more security meant less convenience. Biometric technologies have the power to change that.
Law Enforcement Biometrics Market in Germany 2014-2018 (Companies and Markets)
A major driver of the market is the high demand for security. The Government sector, especially the law enforcement bodies, is in need of more secure and protected security measures. The increase in investments by the government in biometric solutions is a major boost for the Biometrics market in Germany.
Further, one of the major challenges that hinder the growth of the market is the accuracy of biometric systems. The accuracy of the biometric system may not be high enough in certain applications such as negative identification or if the fingerprints are faded, which is a special physical characteristic.
Analysts forecast the Law Enforcement Biometrics market in Germany to grow at a CAGR of 17.6 percent over the period 2013-2018.
Turks embrace biometric data for new ID card system (TMC – Cloud Computing)
Next month’s roll-out of a compulsory biometric system will end the present different-colored card system – pink for women and blue for men – which Turks have been using for almost 40 years.
While many countries today do not require their citizens to carry ID cards, for Turkey this is just the latest evolution of a well-established identity system. The first Turkish IDs were issued in 1882 and contained essential details such as height, eye color – or whether men wore mustache or beard.
Next month’s change takes place against a backdrop of much more modern concerns. As society becomes more conscious about identity theft and hacking, the new cards have created a debate about the security of storing personal data.
The 5 Best Ways to Protect Your Financial Data From Crooks (The Street)
“It’s premature to declare fingerprints the winner,” said Gil Mermelstein, a managing director with technology-focused consulting firm West Monroe Partners.
The lowest-hanging fruit would seem to be protecting customer information databases with biometric access control systems. Passwords, however complex aren’t enough protection against the huge data losses making the news lately.
This article discusses account-level (rather than database level) security and which type of biometric might work best.
Gatwick CIO Eliminates Lines at the Airport (Wall Street Journal)
For two years, nearly 95% of passengers have passed through security at Gatwick in less than five minutes each, said Mr. Ibbitson, speaking Tuesday at a conference. Using technology such as biometrics and touch screens with efficient interfaces, Gatwick has automated processes such as security checks and immigration, improving their performance. This year alone Gatwick has added 2 million additional passengers. “Predominantly, this is down to better airfield management and part of that is down to implementing software as a service tools,” he said.
Biometrics: the future of payments (New Zealand Herald)
“The adoption of biometrics is on an exponential curve and is largely as a result of the financial services and payments industry,” said Dunstone.
The core uses of biometric data to date have been largely confined to government agencies such as passports and visa application processing as well as in policing but the technology is now starting to be adopted in consumer level devices.
Mobile users safer with biometric security: Report (Planet Biometrics)
A new mobile security report published by Javelin Strategy & Research and Nok Nok Labs has found that mobile users are putting themselves at risk of fraud with flawed password strategies, and that users often prefer fingerprint authentication.