Biometry literally means "measurement of life". In a broader sense, it designates the quantitative study of living beings. It covers a wide range of applications, including anthropology and medicine. The term biometrics also refers to all processes used to recognize, authenticate and identify persons based on certain physical or behavioral characteristics. THESE CHARACTERISTICS MUST BE: UNIVERSAL so that everybody can use them + UNIQUE to unequivocally distinguish between different persons + INVARIABLE to ensure they can be used throughout a person's lifetime + RECORDABLE so they can be collected and stored + MEASURABLE to enable comparisons

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIOMETRICS?


Biometrics can be divided into three main categories of characteristics:

BIOLOGICAL DNA blood MORPHOLOGICAL* shape of the hand palms fingerprints vein patterns face iris vein pattern in the retina voice** ear BEHAVIORAL walking** handwritten signatures keyboard strokes

* Morphology: the form and structure of organisms.
** These two biometric types may be considered both morphological and behavioral characteristics.

WHAT IS BIOMETRICS USED FOR?

TO IDENTIFY A PERSON.
Identification answers the question:
“Who is this person?”

Identification (1:N) consists of matching biometric dataamong a large number of persons registered in a database.

Identification (1:N) consists of matching biometric dataamong a large number of persons registered in a database.

TO AUTHENTICATE A PERSON’S IDENTITY.
Authentication answers the question:
“Is this person really Mr. X?” 

Authentication (1:1) consists of verifying that biometric data, for example which is recorded on a passport chip, is the same as for the person holding the passport.

TO AUTHENTICATE A PERSON'S IDENTITY. Authentication answers the question: "Is this person really Mr. X?"  Authentication (1:1) consists of verifying that biometric data, for example which is recorded on a passport chip, is the same as for the person holding the passport.
ARE ALL TYPES OF BIOMETRICS EQUALLY VALID?

Each biometric has its advantages and drawbacks, depending on its degree of variability over time, the quality of capture and how often is used. For example, a person’s voice may be subject to occasional or even permanent changes.

Morpho is specialized in the three major biometric modalities, namely fingerprintface and iris recognition. These three types of biometrics are especially reliable and effective, while being easy to deploy and use.


FINGERPRINT RECOGNITION

Each person has his or her own unique fingerprints – even identical twins have different fingerprints. A fingerprintcomprises about a hundred major features, called minutiae. In most cases, a match between around a dozen minutiae is needed to prove that two fingerprints are identical, and establish a person’s identity to a very high degree of certainty.


FACIAL RECOGNITION

Facial recognition software is capable of identifying an individual according to their facial morphology. Its effectiveness depends on several key factors, including the quality of the captured image, the power of the identification algorithms (which compare, for example, spacing between the eyes), as well as the reliability of the databases used (the larger the database, the greater the probability of identifying a person), etc.


IRIS RECOGNITION

The iris is the colored part of the eye, behind the cornea. It is formed before birth and its appearance changes very little during a person’s life. A person’s right iris is as different from the left iris as it is from another person’s iris. And the irises of identical twins are as different from each other as are the irises of two persons chosen at random. This distinction makes iris recognition a very reliable identificationtechnique, even if the person concerned is wearing glasses or contact lenses.

WHY DO WE USE BIOMETRIC AUTHENTICATION?

The fast-growing number of connected devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) goes hand in hand with the increasingly critical nature of the applications and content we can find on them. Times have changed, and we live in a world where mobility reigns. However, the typical uses and security behaviors that worked at home on a PC are more difficult to apply on the move, where passwords have reached their limits. But, more than ever, we still have to protect our data, transactions and our identity.

Biometrics is one answer: a simple wave of the hand, pressing a finger on a scanner, or looking at a camera for a second is enough to authenticate our identity.

Biometrics facilities the life of users who are increasingly mobile and connected, offering a simple alternative authentication solution to the traditional password and PIN.

AUTHENTICATION METHODS RANKED BY ORDER OF SECURITY
No access code A simple access code, such as 123 or 000 1 PWD for several accounts, changed once a year / Authentication via a social network (Facebook, etc.) 1 PWD + SMS/OTP 1 PWD + a fingerprint Dual-factor biometric authentication A complex PWD for each account and updated every day

BIOMETRICS: SIMPLER THAN A PASSWORD FOR AUTHENTICATION

Biometrics means you no longer have to use unwieldy passwords. To be effective, a password has to meet four demanding criteria: it has to be changed frequently, be complex, you must not use the same one for different accounts and, above all, it must not be written down! For people on the move, biometric authentication is easier than entering a complex password several times a day.


BIOMETRICS AS A WEAPON AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT

Unlike passwords, biometrics is the only method that establishes a link between our physical and digital identities. This helps us prevent identity theft, enabling us to prove that a person accessing an account or device is really who he or she claims to be. Stealing biometric data without the person’s knowledge, and then reproducing it in a useable form is not as easy as stealing a password and using it remotely.


BIOMETRICS MAKES LARGE-SCALE THEFT VERY DIFFICULT

While it’s relatively easy to access thousands of accounts with stolen passwords in just a few seconds, it’s much harder to hack biometric databases. In addition to gaining access to biometric data, thieves also have to be able to produce fakes for each stolen element, and use them with the appropriate detector – thus eliminating the possibility of any large-scale attack. While the number of PIN codes is limited to the digits between 0000 and 9999, biometric data is unlimited.