3.2: Biometric Technology and Border Security
Following the horrific events that occurred on September 11th, border security has become one of the biggest concerns of governments around the world. As such, government agencies have turned to Biometric Technology to detect unauthorized personnel and prevent them from entering the country, or for apprehending them. Their main concerns involved the areas of visa and immigration documents like passports, or issued identity cards.
Advantages of Using Biometric Technology
A distinct advantage that Biometric Technology held over conventional passports or identity cards was that biometric information is essentially a part of the person and therefore more reliable than any other means of checking a person’s identity. Any one possessing the intention to enter a country or state illegally could not claim that they had forgotten their identity numbers or passport as an excuse, nor could they steal, guess or fabricate another person’s biometric or biological information easily. Some common methods of using biometric technology to detect intruders include the scanning of a person’s iris, a 3-D image recording of a person’s hand (Hand geometry), facial recognition, fingerprint detection and voice detection.
Iris recognition technology relies on the distinctly colored ring that surrounds the pupil of the eye. Irises have approximately 266 distinctive characteristics, including a trabecular meshwork, striations, rings, furrows, a corona, and freckles. Typically, about 173 of these distinctive characteristics are used in creating the template. Irises form during the eighth month of pregnancy and are thought to remain stable throughout an individual's life, barring injury. These systems usually use a small camera to take a black-and-white, high-resolution image of the iris. Algorithms then define the boundaries of the iris and create a...