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Information Security: Biometric Authentication

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Discuss about the Information Security for Biometric Authentication.



Relevant Technologies in Biometric Authentication

The idea of biometric authentication is associated with an array of technologies that are either applicable or have already been applied in biometric authentication. One such technology is the finger print authentication technology, which involves either vision based pattern matching or detection of minutiae. Critical to the discussion is the fact that Gaur, Shah, and Thakker (2012) reveal that the technology relies on concepts such as the ultrasonic method, the thermal technique, capacitive sensors, and optical techniques. Another biometric technology is the facial recognition system, which recognizes of a person’s face from a digital image or recording. Like the fingerprint technology, the facial recognition technology relies on other concepts. Specifically, the technology relies on either the 2D or the 3D facial recognition concept in addition to the mapping of specific features such as the length of the jaw, nose width, and the distance between eyes.

Iris recognition relies on the uniqueness of every person’s iris for authentication. The technology may involve image segmentation, matching, acquisition, and localization. Another technology is the hand geometry and palm print, which utilizes features such as the length, width, and hand patterns for authentication (Deka, and Bakshi, 2015). Analogously, the hand vein-pattern recognition falls in the category of biometric systems and relies on image collected from the veins of an individual’s hand for recognition and authentication.  Another technology is retina recognition, which relies on the patterns of blood vessels that are visible and unique in every person’s eye. It is notable that the technology in question relies on an infrared light, the acquisition, matching, and presenting the outcome in form of a template. The last technology is the palm print and hand geometry recognition technology that relies on features such as the width and finger length, perimeter, and diameter of the palm for recognition (In Information Resources Management Association, 2016).  

Applications of the Technologies

For instance, the government is known to record the details of every individual within her authority in order to provide services to those individuals. As a result, citizens and tourists are always forced to carry identification documents because it is almost impossible to access certain services without the mentioned documents.  This is a disadvantage because identification documents are always misplaced or forgotten unexpectedly. Regardless, the emergence of biometric systems of authentication could provide a solution to the problem in question. This owes to the reality that biometric systems of identification could identify an individual based on the natural traits. For instance, the fingerprint biometric system requires and individual’s fingerprints to authenticate whether a person is who he/she claims to be. It follows that the government could benefit from implementing biometric authentication because the system will eliminate the use of identification documents.

Commercial organizations could also benefit from biometric authentication if the technology is applied appropriately. For instance, mobile phone manufacturers could implement biometric authentication in place of the traditional passwords used for mobile phone encryption. As evidenced, Trewin, Swart, Koved, Martino, Singh, and Ben-David (2012) reveal that biometric systems of authentication are memorable and fast to use than traditional passwords. The same authors also reveal that the technology ensures that only the user can use the mobile phone for improved security. In a different study, Jaina, Nandakumar, and Ross (2016) reveal that forensic experts could use biometric technology. Specifically, the   authors argue that the technology could be used to collect evidence for analysis and provide the analyzed evidence before a court of law. In short, biometric authentication could be applied in forensics, commercial areas, and government agencies.


Vague Areas of Biometric Authentication

Apparently, biometric authentication promises improvements in technology because it improves on the current mode of authentication. The technology is vague in certain aspects, which hampers its rapid development. Specifically, the technology is vague in some legal aspects such as the difference between personal data and sensitive data. This owes to the reality that use of biometric templates results in storage of data that is not required in the authentication system. It follows that some practitioners scare from implementing the technology citing that the technology is legally vague. Further, the accuracy of biometric authentication is in question because studies reveal that biometric authentication is insecure (Naveed, and Batool, 2015). Moreover, the security concerns associated with biometric issues raise eyebrows on whether the technology is safe for human consumption. It follows that studies should be conducted to clear such issues before the technology can be fully embraced.

Research Questions

Evidently, biometric authentication offers some promising prospects in technology, but implementation of the technology is currently hampered by vagueness in the technology and calls for research on the following questions.

  1. Can biometric system of authentication be restricted to the collection of data that is required for authentication?
  2. Can the accuracy of biometric systems of technology be improved?
  3. Can the security of biometric systems be improved?  


Doshi, A., and Nirgude, M. (2015). Biometric Recognition Techniques. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Networking, Wireless and Mobile Communications, 2(1): 143-152

Deka, G. C., and Bakshi, S. (2015). Handbook of Research on Securing Cloud-Based Databases with Biometric Applications. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference

In Information Resources Management Association. (2016). Biometrics: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey: Information Science Reference

Jaina, K. A., Nandakumar, K., and Ross A. (2016). 50 years of biometric research: Accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities. Pattern Recognition Letters, 79: 80–105. Retrieved from

Naveed, G., and Batool, R. (2015). Biometric Authentication in Cloud Computing. Journal of  Biometrics and Biostatistics, 6(5): 1-3. Retrieved from

Trewin, S., Swart, C. Koved, L., Martino, J., Singh, K., and Ben-David, S. (2012). Biometric Authentication on a Mobile Device: A Study of User Effort, Error, and Task Disruption. Retrieved from


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