October 15, 2014
Biometric devices authenticate a person’s identity by verifying unique personal characteristics. These devices translate a biometric element, such as a fingerprint, into a digital code that is compared with a digital code stored in a computer. If the digital code in the computer matches the personal characteristic code, the computer grants access. Examples of biometric devices include fingerprint readers and face recognition systems. A fingerprint reader, or scanner, captures curves and indentations of a fingerprint. Organizations use fingerprint readers to secure doors, computers, and software. For example, a fingerprint reader can be set up to authenticate users before they can access a computer (Rossi). External fingerprint readers usually plug into a USB port. To save on desk space, some laptops include built-in fingerprint readers1. A face recognition system captures a live face image and compares it with a stored image to determine if the person is a legitimate user. Some buildings use face recognition systems to secure access to rooms. Law enforcement, surveillance systems, and airports use face recognition systems to protect the public. Some mobile devices use face recognition systems to unlock the device. Face recognition systems are becoming more sophisticated and can recognize people with or without glasses, hats, facial hair, makeup, or jewelry, and with new hairstyles (Allensmith). Home and occupational users alike are using biometric security. Through a biometric element, such as a fingerprint, devices can deny or grant access to programs, devices, computers, rooms, and other locations. Biometric devices are an effective security technology.
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