• United States

Biometrics update: Some day my fingerprints will come

Mar 23, 20061 min

Being a generally law-abidding citizen, I’ve never had a chance to get fingerprinted, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to say that for much longer (that I’ve never been fingerprinted, not that I’m not law abiding).

For a while there, it looked like fingerprinting might get passed by, as eye-scanners and biometric tools aimed at other parts of the body emerged. But researchers still can’t seem to keep their paws off fingerprints.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is the latest outfit to push for advanced fingerprint technologies that can be used to secure networks and computers. It recently finished a test with 14 vendors in which it showed what it is calling a speedier and less storage-intensive way to swap fingerprint data among different readers. Read more about this biometrics test here.

Others on the fingerprint front include the University of Buffalo, which has researched the best size for a keypad sensor and how big a fingerprint image needs to be to make it useful.

Biometrics continues to be controversial for privacy and other reasons. But that’s not stopping airports and others from adopting fingerprinting for security reasons.

Bob Brown,