COP 4910
This report brings together the final papers presented by the students in the
Frontiers in Information Technology class, COP 4910 during the Spring-2015
semester. In addition, it is worth mentioning that this semester the students
attended 76 talks and each student gave 4 presentations. In each talk they had to
present the technical aspects of the selected topic along with its social impact,
ethical aspects, and professional impact.
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Biometric Security
John Sensback
Frontiers in Information Technology
University of Central Florida
Orlando, United States
Abstract—Biometric systems and the
technology is an ever increasing market of our
everyday lives. It is used for security to prevent
fraud and it aids in the apprehension of criminals,
as well as many other applications. The earliest
methods of biometric security included
fingerprints in clay tablets and signatures on
documents. Over the past two centuries,
biometrics have evolved to encompass a variety
of outlets to increase the value of everyday
lives. Today, not only is the government using
retinal scans, voice recognition software, and
fingerprint recognition, but banks are using voice
recognition algorithms to authenticate users and
cell phones are now unlocked only with the
user’s fingerprint. While this technology is
clearly more secure and accurate than its
predecessor, it is not a perfected science and
there are potentially a variety of personal and
social problems. With the advancement of this
technology, many ethical issues will arise. These
vary from government spying to the loss of
online anonymity.
The science behind
biometrics could potentially move us into the
new age of security, but at what cost of personal
Keywords—biometric security; biometric
In everyday activities, people rely on some form of
security to get us through the day. Whether they are
logging into our Facebook or trying to access their
emails, they depend on security to ensure the safety of
their data. The current way an end user can help protect
their personal data is to create unique and complicated
passwords. Once the passwords have been entered, the
user relies on the strength of the encryption method to
protect them. Security is not guaranteed, even with these
complicated passwords. Ultimately, there is a better way
to protect personal data. Biometrics is a way of using the
Brian Salvo
Frontiers in Information Technology
University of Central Florida
Orlando, United States
one thing only an individual has access
to. Themselves. Using their biometric identity to protect
their data may be one of the best ways to accomplish a
higher level of protection. The term biometryis known to
be “derived from the Greek words "bios" (life) and
"metron" (to measure) [1]”. In a sense, biometric
recognition is the science used to identify a person based
on physical attributes
The very first form of biometric recognition starts
with the earliest humans. Babies are born into this world
recognizing their mother’s voice. Soon after, they learn
to recognize important facial features. As they develop
into adults, they were able to identify family members,
friends, and enemies. Even the earliest forms of art in
caves left by cavemen have forms of a biometric
“signature” in the form of handprints [2]. Biometric
security started to show up around 500 BC when
Babylonians would imprint their fingerprint into clay
tablets to identify their ownership of cargo or children. It
was not until the late 1800s when police departments
starting using fingerprint recognition to speed the process
of the identification and apprehension of suspects. Within
the next century, government and security organizations
are now able to use almost every part of the body as an
identification method.
In section II, we present the different types of
biometrics, procedures, and applications such as: Iris
recognition, fingerprinting, facial recognition, and DNA
analysis. In section III, we will provide technical
examples in real world environments. In section IV, we
will review the social impact of the growing popularity of
biometrics. In section V, we will discuss the ethical
issues, impacts, and disadvantages to society. In section
VI, we will discuss the professional impact and career
opportunities. In section VII, we will review with a
Iris recognition is often used in areas of high security
and is generally regarded as the most accurate
[3]. Within the iris itself are completely random patterns
that are unique to the individual. The computer scans the
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iris of the user and computes an algorithm that identifies
these random patterns. The user is granted access when
the correct patterns are confirmed.
Fingerprinting is the most commonly recognized form
of biometric security. Fingerprints have long been a way
for authorities to identify suspects that were potentially at
a crime scene. Fingerprints are also used by consumers
to access personal locks and devices. The iPhone 6 and
Galaxy S5 have the option to use your fingerprint as a
way of unlocking your phone.
Facial Recognition is also a new and unique way you
can unlock your phone. Once set up, all you have to do it
look and you screen and blink and if it matches then your
phone will unlock. Facial recognition can be used in
many other ways such as camera surveillance of high
security areas or to auto tag users in pictures on social
A person’s DNA can also be analyzed for biometric
identities. DNA can be found in any kind of fluid sample.
Although DNA is not currently used for any kind of
biometric security, it is used for crime scenes and
paternity tests.
One of the newest forms of biometric security is
emerging as a palm vein recognition. Fujitsu held an
innovation contest to improve and facilitate the use of
palm vein recognition. Similar technology has already
been implemented in ATMs around the globe. Table I
shows the false acceptance and rejection rates for various
forms of biometrics with intentional focus on the palm
vein results [4].
AS OF 2014
false acceptance and false rejection. This means that the
palm vein recognition technology could perhaps be the
most accurate form of biometric security.
Fujitsu also provided a chart displaying the accuracy
and practicality of various forms of biometric
recognition, as shown in Figure 1 [4]. This proves their
claim that the palm vein recognition technology has the
highest accuracy and practicality.
Figure 1: Fujitsu’s display of an overall view of the
accuracy and practicality of various types of biometric
Notice how the fingerprint has high accuracy but low
practicality. This is due to the requirement of the person
being physically present for the scan. Whereas a facial
recognition has low accuracy but high practicality
because cameras around the world implement this
technology to scan facial features as the person is going
about their daily lives.
According to Table I, the procedures of Fujitsu’s palm
vein recognition, PalmSecureTM, has the lowest levels of
Biometric Security has many practical uses in today’s
day and age. With the amount of cyber security attacks,
people need to implement a more efficient encryption
method to protect themselves and their data. Biometric
security can do just that. Since everyone has a unique
DNA structure, no one can have the same “password” as
another, in a biometric sense. This allows for a better
password system than what is available today.
Criminal identification is another useful reason to
further current technology in biometrics. Officials can
better protect locations of interest, such as banks and
schools, if they can identify potential threats as they
approach or even enter the building [5].With facial
recognition, customers can be ran through a criminal
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database in real time as they pass by the front door
A type of technology used every day is the ability to
talk to devices. People use their voice to hands-free type,
complete online searches, and do many other tasks. The
advancement of technology is allowing this method to go
a step further. Not only can the voice be used in a
software function, it can be so ONLY a unique voice
pattern belonging to the individual can complete these
tasks. Nuance Communications creates technology that
allows the user to use their voice to communicate with
technology. They are currently creating a way to
recognize patterns in the voice structure and use it as a
password. Currently being on trial with banks, users can
call their bank to access accounts by simply saying “my
voice is my password”. This eliminates someone being
able to falsely access sensitive information.The largest
deployment of any biometric is what makes this
technology possible. Sprint’s Voice FONCARD® which
makes use of TI’s voice-verification engine.
Biometrics have a huge advantage to the advancement
of social lives. Facial recognition can be deployed in
interconnected cities to identify a missing person or
potential criminals. Cases would be closed faster, freeing
up time and allowing for law enforcement to focus on
more immediate concerns. Fingerprinting has also
worked its way into an aspect of everyday lives with cell
phones now capable of fingerprint recognition. Instead
of typing in a passcode or swiping in a certain pattern, a
user can just simply hit the home button, which is usually
always the first action performed. The fingerprint is
analyzed and it is matched to the database. If the print
has access to the phone, it will unlock. One of the largest
entertainment mediums, video games, will have been
impact by these tools as well [6].
With the advancement of this technology, ethical
issues become a huge concern. This technology can be
misused by the government or other entities for various
purposes. If facial recognition technology were to be
more advanced, who is to stop it from being used on
every video recording device? If there is a “criminal”
database with fingerprints, iris scans, and facial
recognition, anybody in that database could be tracked,
regardless of where they go. What if it expanded to more
than just criminals? Any person of interest could be
tracked anywhere in the world, in real time. This leads to
the integral degradation of personal privacy.
An issue that can affect society as early as this year is
the removal of online anonymity. If a user were to tie
their online profiles to their physical features, would the
time of the “anonymous internet”be no more? Passwords
will always be an integral part of the internet, but when
the majority of websites make biometrics a requirement
would a user be inclined to use these biometric methods
if it guaranteed data protection?
These are all
considerations one must make as they choose to proceed
down this path as technology advances [7].
A. Job Opportunities
As with any technological field when the technology
advances, so do the career opportunities. Any large
government organization will most likely have some
form of biometric security. Entities from local law
enforcement to government agencies, such as the FBI and
CIA, rely on biometric technology almost daily to
perform tasks [8].
A career with any of these
organizations will most likely merit a situation in which
biometrics can be used, but these applications will only
be on the end user level. A person will have to be highly
technically trained in order to be part of the force that
designs, creates, or implements biometrics.
B. Careers
An example of a career in biometrics would be a
Biometrics Engineer. A biometric engineer is generally a
software developer who creates and maintains various
biometric systems [9]. A Bachelor’s degree in a
Computer Science or related field is a common
requirement. In addition to having strong computer
programming skills, a biometrics engineer will have
strong problem-solving skills and an extensive
comprehension of biometric systems [10]. According to, the average biometric engineer salary
is $78,000. Many of these professionals hold graduate
degrees, granting them more pay.
As you can see in Figure 2, the biometric industry is
on a steady incline and constantly growing. This
information was provided by Acuity Market Intelligence
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Figure 2: The Future of Biometrics; 2009 Revised Edition
Biometrics are quickly becoming a part of everyday
lives whether society wants it or not. As new
technologies are developed, so will new biometric
methods and algorithms. This technology can be crucial
in how sensitive information is secured and how society
goes about its everyday life. Biometric characteristics
can be used to secure sensitive information such as
fingerprint scanning on mobile payments or they can be
used by governments and organizations to spy on
anybody’s every move. As with every advancing
technology, there will be cons and pros. We, as a society
and species, have to believe that the pros will always outweigh cons.
N.V. Boulgouris, K. Plataniotis, and E. Tzanakou,
Biometrics: Theory, Methods, and Applications,
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009.
K. Saeed and T. Nagashima. Biometrics and Kansei
Engineering, New York, NY: Springer, 2012.
A. Jain, R. Bolle, and S. Pankanti. Biometrics: Personal
Identification in Networked Society, Norwell, MA:
Kluwer, 1999.
FUJITSU PalmSecure Innovation Contest. (n.d.).
Central European Conference on Information &
Intelligent Systems. Biometric system reliability as
an important factor of influence on Chain of
Custody of Digital Evidence. Sep 2014
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Facial Recognition with Biometric Encryption in
Match-on-Card Architecture for Gaming and Other
Computer Applications, Torronto, 2014..
for Biometric One-to-Many Identification Systems,
Torronto, 2014.
Biometric Technology Today. RBS and NatWest mobile
customer log in with fingerprint biometrics. Volume
2015, Issue 3
Biometric Technology Today. NXT-ID files patent for
voice recognition-based payments. Volume 2015,
Issue 3
Biometric Technology Today. ZTE Grand S3 to feature
eye-based biometrics from EyeVerify. Volume 2015,
Issue 3
Acuity Market Research Reports. (n.d.). Retrieved
March 27 2015, from
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