Ear Biometric: An Aid to Personal Identification
Ruma Purkait INTRODUCTION In this electronic age the issue of identification is no longer confined within the walls of Penitentiary. In today’s scenario where computers, CCD cameras and other sophisticated electronic gadgets are invading every nook and corner, personal identification has emerged as a global problem. There is an ever-growing need to authenticate individuals. Conventionally, one establishes his identity using passports, identity cards, keys, or by remembering passwords and personal identification numbers (PIN) when one gains access to a restricted area. Unfortunately the possessions can be lost, duplicated or stolen, and passwords and PIN can easily be forgotten, compromised, or observed. Such deficiencies of conventional personal identification techniques cause major problems to all concerned. In UK itself the rapidly growing identity theft industry is now estimated to be costing GBP 1.7 billion per year. To address the deficiencies of conventional techniques a robust, reliable and foolproof personal identification solution is sought. ‘Biometrics’ could be the answer to this. BIOMETRICS Though it had been used throughout history, Biometrics first came to limelight in 1879 when Alphonse Bertillon (1853–1914), a French Criminologist, introduced his anthropometrical signalment or Bertillonage system for identifying convicted criminals. He developed a method of identification based on anthropometry of various parts of the body including head, ear, fingers etc., the size of which remain constant throughout life after attaining full growth. He even included description of morphological facial features and any peculiar mark observed on the surface of the body. The measurements were incorporated into a formula that referred to a single unique individual, and recorded onto cards which also bore photographic frontal and profile images of the suspect. The cards were then systematically filed and... [continues]
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