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Biometrics

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Submitted By tarattm
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Biometrics and finger/palm printing

Tara Tatum
Team C

Introduction

In many of the FBI’s high profile cases, one form of technology that has become highly effective is biometrics. The definition of biometrics is the science of measuring and statistically analyzing biological data. This scientific measuring tool is mostly used in identifying individuals whether anatomical or physiological. While fingerprinting is probably one of the oldest and most common forms of biometrics, other forms can include but are not limited to iris scans, voice recognition, palm prints, and facial recognition. As of late, the FBI, being a leader in the latest biometric technology, has created with the help of the science and technology branch, the Biometric Center of Excellence or BCOE. Not only has the BCOE strengthened the FBI’s abilities by proving the guilt, as well as the innocence of those convicted of crimes, but it has also been effective in thwarting terrorism that plagues many countries today.

Finger/palm printing techniques Since the early 1920’s, fingerprinting techniques have been in existence, assisting in identifying and authenticating a person’s identity. This older form of biometric technology has both advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages can be the authentication of one’s identity, as no two person’s have the same prints, the cost effectiveness, the ease of use, the accuracy and the standardization. Some disadvantages are the intrusiveness, as some still relate fingerprinting to criminal activities, and if ones hands are dirty, the inaccuracy of the machine. (FBI) Because of the disadvantages, one of which being the intrusiveness of fingerprinting, people tend to shy away from this technique as they may feel that it infringes on their right to privacy. Some feel that the database that houses the billions of fingerprint collections, invades ones privacy because as it has been stated earlier, fingerprints are often always equated with criminal activity. It is never thought of as a tool to help apprehend those accused of heinous crimes, but it is often seen as a way to invade or intrude into one’s personal space or life. Fingerprinting has been one of the more effective forms of biometrics simply because of the national database that houses billions of fingerprints. This database has been instrumental in capturing the most elusive of criminals simply by searching the database. The suspect may have left a key piece of evidence that he or she was unaware of and if they were ever arrested, which is more than likely, they can scan the database and thus apprehend the suspect, who may have eluded them for days, months, or even years. Palm printing, introduced later, was seen as being not as intrusive as fingerprinting, even though they require some of the same techniques to acquire them. Palm prints are commonly used to gain access to something and some advantages of palm printing are that it is easily integrated with other devices, and the public opinion is not one of distrust, but that it is used solely as a way of identifying a person or persons. The disadvantages can include the cost to maintain the machine and the fact that not all people may be able to utilize it, I. e. someone with a disability.

Other forms of Biometrics Other effective forms of biometrics can include facial recognition, Iris scan, and voice recognition. Of the three mentioned, voice recognition is the most economical and socially acceptable. Voice recognition is non intrusive and with a verification time of five seconds, is one of the easiest and cheapest forms of biometry. However, if one is in poor health or their voice is somehow recorded for malicious purposes, it can compromise the systems put into place to protect us, thus increasing the activities of hackers and identity thieves. As of late, the FBI has incorporated several techniques to assist law enforcement in their efforts to maintain order in our country. NGI or Next Generation Identification is being incorporated to become the way that people are tracked across the nation. This new technology is a national biometric identification system scheduled to be up and running in 2014. This new biometric system will contain the data on people’s scars, tattoo’s, palm prints, voices, and facial measurements (Zakaria, 2011). This new system has caused some to question whether it threatens the civil rights of the citizens; however, there are those who feel that this new system is obligatory. Because we have been under the cloud of terrorism in the past, for the FBI to bring forth a technology that will encourage communication across state, local, and international lines is colossal.

References http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/fingerprints_biometrics www.constitutioncampaign.org/blog/?p=5016#.UlzAFhARvl8

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