Biometrics – Identification or Verification
At +Accsys, we get asked everything from how fingerprints form, to what is the best solution, identification or verification.
Then there is optical or capacitance as a choice, too.
Lots of choices.
The Identification or Verification question is interesting, though. Biometric identification is simple, you present the required body part to the reader, and it recognises you based on an algorithm saved on the system. Verification requires media or a pin code first, then you are asked to verify that it has the right person by presenting your finger or face etc.
Verification is more secure, as it relies on the double affirmation. However, unless pin code is used, it requires the employee to carry media, with the attendant risk of loss or “I forgot it at home”, not to mention the cost of the media.
While verification does seem to be a slower choice, in certain circumstances it can speed up the operation, as the memory search for the correct biometric algorithm can take time, on certain devices and with some software solutions.
It is also important to note that verification, through limiting the search space, allows for handling of much larger quantities. Our Accsys IT Director, Dr Liam Terblanche gives pension payouts as an example. He says that if we were to use biometrics for handing these out, we would definitely be looking at verification rather than identification, because of the sheer volume.
There is no question that identification has achieved more common usage, though. The practicality of not requiring media or memory (remembering a pin code) has given this option the edge.
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