Biometric verification, simply put, is a process through which a person can be verified based on their distinguishing biological traits such as fingerprints, voice, retina, facial features etc. While the Face ID verification in smart phones is probably the most popular use of biometrics verification, it is greatly used in various security systems as well as Point-of-sale applications and for employment purposes.
What Makes Biometric Verification So Effective?
Biometric verification is way more effective than traditional methods of authentication relying on overused passwords and PINs. Unique physiological features make it much harder for scammers to mimic another person.
- They protect against stolen IDs and impersonation
- They add an extra layer of authentication to day-to-day activities such as unlocking a phone, making financial transactions etc.
- Biometric verification greatly minimizes customer friction and protects institutions as well as individuals from fraud attacks.
- Make it extremely unlikely for someone to access highly sensitive confidential data without being authenticated.
Understanding the Differences among Biometric Verification, Authentication and Identification
Although they might sound similar, and the general purpose is to identify an individual who they claim to be, biometric verification slightly varies from authentication and identification. Generally speaking, verification happens only once when a person is validated before registering for a particular service such as when setting up a new brokerage account. Verification can usually take longer as your identity needs to be verified against your ID. Authentication, however, is something that happens over and over. For example, every time you unlock your phone, an electronic fingerprint recognition system or a Touch ID would need you to authenticate yourself. Think of a one-on-one matching system.
Authentication is instantaneous since it is simply being compared to the data that’s already present out there. Biometric identification is a slightly different term. It is programmed to identify unknown individuals. An identification system would compare a person’s biometrics against all the data present in a database. A good example would be a forensic database.
What are the Different Types of Biometric Devices?
When it comes to identifying biological traits, a reader or scanning device can help in verifying an individual’s biometrics.
Apart from devices, software applications can also be used to convert recognized physical traits such as Face ID into a digital format and store it in a database. These applications can also be used to detect spoofing and fraudulent behavior using liveness detection and emotion recognition.