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Q: What is biometrics?

Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics. The technology is mainly used for identification and access control, or for identifying individuals who are under surveillance.

The basic premise of biometric authentication is that every person can be accurately identified by his or her intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.

Biometric identifiers are divided into 2 categories, Behavioral and Physiological.

♀♂Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice, otherwise referred to as behaviometrics.

♀♂Physiological characteristics are related to the shape of the body, including but not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odor and/or scent.

Examples of biometrics include token-based identification systems, such as a driver’s license or passport, and knowledge-based identification systems, such as a password or personal identification number.

Since biometric identifiers are unique to individuals, they are more reliable in verifying identity than token and knowledge-based methods; however, the collection of biometric identifiers raises privacy concerns about the ultimate use of this information.

question sent in by Marylin.S from Canada