Biometric Technology: A Brief History

As more people move to the virtual world to conduct their daily activities, businesses are taking this opportunity to move their operations online. By doing so, they can attract more leads, which will enable them to generate sales and revenues. 

However, with the increase in use of digital platforms for online shopping or financial transaction processing, fraud matches the pace. Fraudulent individuals are taking advantage of enterprises with weak defenses. Cybersecurity threats can cause a business entity to incur financial losses, reputation damage, and customer distrust. 

Therefore, to reduce fraud risks, enterprises operating digitally must leverage digital identity verification solutions. Various businesses adopt biometric technology for more secure authentication. Biology-based proof is next to impossible to forge; thus, it is a viable replacement for outdated identity proofing methods. 

Organizations can utilize FIDO2 compliant identity authentication solutions for stronger authentication. This can enable them to shore up their system’s security as well as allow users to authenticate easily and safely into their accounts or seamlessly complete an online transaction. The FIDO 2.0 standard uses a combination of biometric authentication factors, such as fingerprint scans or face recognition, with other authentication factors, such as PIN code and swipe pattern. 

Biometric technology is becoming commonplace in this digital era. However, the concept of using biology-based proof for identification dates back to the 1960s, when scientists started identifying the physiological components of acoustic speech and phonic sounds. This became a catalyst for the development of voice recognition technology. 

In 1969, the Federal Bureau of Investigations or FBI began exploring the concept of automated fingerprint identification, studying minutiae points to map unique patterns and ridges in the fingerprints. 

Biometric science took off in the 1990s, with prototypes for iris recognition technology and face recognition systems patented during this era. Eventually, biometric technology was used for commercial purposes in the early 2000s. Biology-based proofs were used for visa applicants at ports of entry and exit and authenticators for passports and other Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs). 

Moreover, more than a decade later, biometric technology has been made available for public use. Biometric algorithms, scanners, and sensors were integrated into smartphones to authenticate into their devices easily. 

Biometric technology has come a long way since its initial exploration in the 1960s. To know more about its history, see this infographic from LoginID. 

Biometric Technology: a brief history

By Erick Hunt

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