The image on the left is an Iris scan, it happens to be mine and was enrolled voluntarily. It is more stable than a fingerprint and tamperproof; it uniquely identifies me in a computer database with a record size of 46,000 bytes. It is but one mode in a system of individual identification designed to be multi-model. When combined with other modes, like fingerprints, facial scan, palm scan and even DNA it precisely and uniquely identifies me. The United States government presently has a biometric database that consists of approximately 1.7 billion entries. A drop in the bucket, but it’s growing at a rate of hundreds of thousands of modal sets per day.
Biometrics is here and getting ready to enter the commercial space with full force, but what exactly is biometrics, how will its use be promulgated and what are its profound social issues? These are questions that I’ll answer, this coming month, as I discuss the technology, processes and the profound issues it will raise.
– Sal Palma