Essay: Limitations of Biometric Technologies

Sample Essay

All biometric technologies have limitations of one sort or another that keep them from achieving their theoretical accuracy. Fingerprint recognition has an advantage over other biometrics because multiple fingers can be used to attain extremely high accuracy, if the application requires it.

Proper placement of a finger on a fingerprint reader is a very easy thing to do. Even with a fixed placement of the fingerprint reader, all people (short and tall, standing, sitting or wheelchair-bound individuals) can use their fingers to confirm their identity. Fingers on both hands can be registered, so that an injury to one finger or hand does not prevent identity verification.

Most fingerprint readers available today are based on optical technologies and use digital-optical sensors, similar to electronics found in video cameras. They are relatively small, inexpensive devices that are easily connected to most personal computers. Other readers utilize touch sensitive chips, which is a newer technology that allows for even smaller unit design. While prices today are comparable between digital-optical sensors and touch sensitive chips, the latter holds the promise of lower priced products in the future. Applications developed to take advantage of today’s digital-optical fingerprint readers will, most likely, adapt seamlessly to new technologies as they become available.

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