Biometrics is the automated method of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. Biometric technologies are becoming the foundation of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions.
Biometric technologies should be considered and evaluated giving full consideration to the following characteristics:
Universality: Every person should have the characteristic. People who are mute or without a fingerprint will need to be accommodated in some way.
Uniqueness: Generally, no two people have identical characteristics. However, identical twins are hard to distinguish.
Permanence: The characteristics should not vary with time. A person's face, for example, may change with age.
Collectibility: The characteristics must be easily collectible and measurable.
Performance: The method must deliver accurate results under varied environmental circumstances.
Acceptability: The general public must accept the sample collection routines. Nonintrusive methods are more acceptable.
Circumvention: The technology should be difficult to deceive.
Biometrics is expected to be incorporated in solutions to provide for Homeland Security including applications for improving airport security, strengthening the United States' national borders, in travel documents, visas and in preventing ID theft. Now, more than ever, there is a wide range of interest in biometrics across federal, state, and local governments. Congressional offices and a large number of organizations involved in many markets are addressing the important role that biometrics will play in identifying and verifying the identity of individuals and protecting national assets.
There are many needs for biometrics beyond Homeland Security. Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, secure electronic banking, investing and other financial