Securing identities with biometrics

Securing identities with biometrics How biometric technologies help us verify identities and fight crime

Understanding biometrics

Unique to each individual, biometrics can offer a reliable means to confirm a person's identity.

Biometric verification of a person’s identity is based on comparing a prerecorded reference feature with the actual reference feature. This method is considered reliable because it relates to features and behaviors unlikely to substantially change over a person’s lifetime. PINs and passwords can be forgotten, and documents can be stolen, but a biometric feature is only lost or altered under extreme circumstances.

Unlike PINS and passwords, a biometric comparison is always based on the similarity of the reference to the actual recorded feature. After all, no camera will take an identical picture of someone’s face every time. Accepting less similar images will improve convenience for the user, because their identity is more likely to be confirmed first time. On the other hand, it increases the likelihood of incorrectly accepting an image of a different person. The acceptance threshold must be set correctly for each individual use case.

A second challenge lies in choosing the right biometric feature for each scenario. The appearance of the face, fingerprints, irises, vein patterns, gait, voice and behavioral analysis are all examples of features that can be used, each of them with their own advantages and disadvantages.

The third challenge lies in ensuring sufficient robustness against presentation attacks. Many biometric features, such as images of the face, are publicly available. Resistance to attacks such as the presentation of printouts or masks to verification systems is becoming increasingly critical as more and more systems are being deployed without human attendants.

Sophisticated automated biometric identification systems offer fast, secure, and effective forgery-proof identification.

Better biometrics

Biometrics are a powerful tool to detect identity theft or verify the identity of a person in situations where the citizen has lost everything and has no-one to confirm who they are. Used in the right way, they can significantly improve public security and support the fight against crime. The challenges described here show that there is more to biometrics than just matching scores and error rates of the algorithms. Correct application and installation are critical: great expertise is required to design a system that is tailored to the task and secure.

Biometric data is considered sensitive personal data that must be properly protected. Veridos has significant experience of applying biometrics for identification purposes in a range of scenarios, granting the company excellent expertise in this area. With many years of experience participating in and heading up multiple EU research projects on biometric applications, Veridos has established a leading position in the research, development, and effective application of biometric technologies. Veridos just recently commissioned an independent study on the quality of commercially available presentation attack detection algorithms on smartphones, carried out by the University of Salzburg.

The Veridos biometric identity toolkit

Veridos offers a full set of state-of-the-art biometric solutions for governments and public authorities optimized for applicable usage scenarios. Our solutions cover every need: from acquiring the first biometric reference data via enrolment systems, to installing compliant and secure storage in electronic passports, identity documents and databases, and implementing secure and fast verification systems.

 

Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS)
ABIS are used to store and search in large quantities of biometric reference data. Typical applications include the deduplication of identities during enrolment via our IMAGO platform, criminal investigations, forensic identification and tokenless identification systems.

 

Automated Border Control (ABC)
As part of its border control program, Veridos provides flexible automated border control solutions based on the VeriGO® platform. These solutions implement supervised self-service installations, including VeriGO® eGates, which use face biometrics.

 

Smartphone-based identity verification
VeriGO® TrueID offers smartphone-based identity verification for mobile identity services on the go. The app facilitates face detection and server-side matching against an existing national biometric database, allowing instant matching without prior registration. The service is instantly available to citizens wherever and whenever they need it. Watch how it works here.

 

Standard compliant and secure storage
As one of the world’s leading identity solutions providers, Veridos is known for its expertise in producing high-quality, counterfeit-proof identity documents. Electronic IDs and electronic passports that allow secure storage of advanced biometric data are the cornerstone of all biometric systems.

 

Better biometrics with Veridos: biometrics think tank

Veridos and one of its parent companies, Giesecke+Devrient, formed a dedicated think tank to examine the implications of biometric use.

The think tank summarized some of their key findings in a detailed biometrics white paper. This detailed exploration of the relative strengths, vulnerabilities, and privacy considerations involved with different biometric features enhanced industry understanding of how best to deploy this promising technology and where to focus future R&D efforts.

World in your eyes

The video below shows the convenience that different biometric technologies can bring to our lives. It also shows how, if the technology is not correctly applied, all technology’s benefits can turn into a nightmare.

Veridos’s biometric systems offer all the convenience and reliability of biometrics with advanced security technology to prevent spoofing. We make the biometrics dream a reality while protecting identities.”

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