Biometrics came from the two Greek words, “bio” meaning life and “metrics” meaning to measure.
Thus, biometrics literally means “to measure life”. It is a measure of biological characteristics related to human features. This is being recorded and used as a technological method to verify one’s identity. There are two types of biometrics: physiological identifiers and behavioral identifiers.
Physiological identifiers are those characteristics that relate to the physiological or physical nature of the one being authenticated. Physiological identifiers include fingerprints, facial, iris and vein recognition, retina scanning, voice recognition, and DNA matching.
Behavioral identifiers are those unique human actions and behaviors which include recognition of typing patterns, walking gait, signature, and other gestures. There are also two modes of getting or recording biometrics: authentication and identification. Biometrics authentication is a technological procedure of comparing the person’s identifiers to his/her biometric “template” in order to verify the similarities. In this process, the question: “Is this indeed person A?” is answered.
For instance, this is employed in companies to gain access or entrance to certain buildings or rooms. It is also being used in identifying under surveillance individuals. On the other hand, biometric identification compares data with a database to specify the person’s identity. Thus, the question: “Who is this person?” is answered. For instance, an unknown fingerprint is run in the database and the individual’s identity will then be revealed.