Biometric Technology

Biometric is derived from the words “Bio” meaning life, and “metrics” referring to characteristics that can be measured or quantified.                                                              

Biometric technology refers to technology to identify or recognize a person based on unique characteristics or behavior patterns such as face, retina, iris, palm print, fingerprint, voice, handwriting.

How the biometric system works is based on how your brain works. It enables accurate identification of individuals without using passwords, smart cards or keys like traditional methods.

How is biometric technology used?

1. Identification

It is a 1: N matching which compares one sample with all the collected data. However, you need to record the data in the system first. For example, collecting fingerprints with a fingerprint scanner, or collecting photos by a facial recognition system. Then, the system will match the received data with all the data in the database to identify the data owners. This process takes a long time because it has to compare a large amount of data.


2. Verification

It is a 1: 1 matching which compares one sample with the previously stored data. Users need to enter their PIN (Personal Identification Number), and then the biometric data will be sent to the system. After that, the system will check whether the received data matches the previously stored data or not. This process doesn’t take a long time because there are not many data to compare.


How does biometric technology work?

1. Collecting a sample of the characteristics you want to measure. For example, scanning fingerprints as fingerprint image, taking a photo of your face.

2. Collecting biometric data from the scanned sample. Quantitative data is collected from the fingerprint image and calculated by a specific algorithm.

3. Comparing the measured quantitative data with the previously recorded data in the central database or on a smart card.

4. Checking if the comparison results match or not. 

5. Judging who this person is (Identification) or this person is the real person as claimed (Verification) or not.

Examples of using biometrics

  • Legal work: It is used to investigate criminal offences and to arrest offenders.
  • Organization/Government: It is used for companies’ confidential research and office access control.
  • Military: Biometrics can be used in border trade or used as security guards for VIP. It is also used in e-passport verification. The biometric data such as fingerprints and facial features are recorded in a Contactless Integrated Circuit which is embedded in e-passport.
  • Network security: It is used on the Internet, Extranet, and used for VPN. Network system businesses use biometric technology to connect their network to the computer system outside the organization.
  • Banks: Biometrics are used for ATM and when users do any transaction with banks.
  • Individual security: This is a security for personal computers, digital door lock system, online learning, etc.


Biometric technology is used to authenticate a person based on human physical characteristics. It can distinguish individual differences, so it helps you to maintain safety and prevents impersonation from other people. This technology is useful to organizations and governments. However, to adopt biometric technology, you must consider many factors including investment, necessity and suitability for your organization.

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