eSSL Biometric Secuwatch

October 8, 2007

Fingerprint Authentication – The Time Has Finally Arrived

There are several techniques that can be applied for verifying and confirming a user’s identity. They can be broadly classified as something the user knows, such as a password or PIN; something the user has, such as a smart card or ATM card; and something that’s part of the user, such as a fingerprint or iris. The strongest authentication involves a combination of all three. The technology used for identification of a user based on a physical characteristic, such as a fingerprint, iris, face, voice or handwriting is called Biometrics.

It has been more than 15 years since the introduction of commercial fingerprint authentication systems. Yet they are just now gaining broad acceptance. We should not be surprised. Many technologies required several years before the right combination of factors allowed them to become ubiquitous. If one looks back to laptop computers, cell phones, fax machines, pagers, laser printers and countless other everyday devices, one will realize most had long gestation periods. Biometrics is now at the acceptance crossroads. What will propel them into common usage?

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