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 Monday, December 07, 2009

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled Biometrics and Standards surveys biometric recognition as a key form of authentication made possible by powerful information and communication technologies (ICT).

Biometrics are used in forensics (e.g., for criminal investigations), government applications (more than 60 countries issue electronic passports containing biometric information) and commercial applications. The latter category includes deployments in the banking sector (secure access to ATMs, credit cards, e-Business), with other sectors gaining momentum. For instance, social-networking websites including Facebook and Picasa have integrated face recognition algorithms to make it easier to search and display all photos featuring one’s friends. Biometric systems embedded in cars of a vehicle fleet can help to identify the driver, adjust seat, rear mirrors, and steering wheel to meet individual preferences.

Technologies commonly used in biometrics include recognition of fingerprints, faces, vein patterns, irises, voices and keystroke patterns.

The Report discusses the advantages of biometric authenticators over their knowledge- and possession-based counterparts, describes different physiology- and behavior-related biometric traits and how they are used in biometric systems. A choice of biometric recognition applications is highlighted, and an overview of standardization work in the field of biometrics is given.

"Biometrics and Standards" can be downloaded here.

The authors welcome your feedback on this Report and all other publications of the Technology Watch series. We invite all interested parties to submit paper proposals for future Technology Watch Reports. The Technology Watch secretariat can be contacted at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.