A Deeper Look at How Biometrics are Used

The addition of biometric security devices changes how we think about security devices. Biometrics are fundamentally different from other device types in how they work. While they provide significant advantages in terms of security, there are certain things that are relatively unknown about how they function by most of the people that use them on a regular basis. Here are several things that you probably didn’t know about how biometric scanners work.

Biometric Fingerprints are Not Full Fingerprints

One of the most confusing aspects of how biometric fingerprint scanners work is that they do not use full fingerprints. On traditional scanners, they can scan a large amount of your fingerprint to match with other records. Biometric fingerprint readers do this in a fundamentally different way. They measure several points on your finger in relation to each other. By increasing the number of points that are scanned, the chances of creating a false positive decrease and the scan becomes more complex. For most people, this is confusing, since most people think that they function the same way as a traditional fingerprint scanner.

Biometric Centralized Database

Another misunderstanding about how biometrics work is that many people don’t understand how the profile is matched with other scans. This is done using one of two methods. The first method, called 1:N matching, takes your scan and compares it to all of the scans in a national database. If a match can be found, it is sent back to the scanner for approval. The other option is called 1:1 matching. It takes your scan and matches it to a previous scan on the same device. 1:1 matching is generally used when you are the only person using a device, like a cell phone or laptop. 1:N matching is used for security checkpoints, banking transactions, and other operations where you need access to a system that has multiple locations. 

Derivative Identities

When companies use a national database to assess your scans, there is a chance that they will create a derivative identity. This is a copy of your scan that the company stores so that it can create its own database. While this may seem strange, it is a faster and more accurate method of controlling access. If the derivative identity is created, you have a smaller chance of getting a false positive from someone else’s scan. Companies use these identities to improve security and to help identify customers for multiple services. 

Integrating Biometrics is Easier Than You Thought

Many people think that integrating biometrics into a security system is extremely complicated. It is easier than you may think if you have the right team to help you. At Video and Sound Services, Inc., our team is dedicated to creating the best security system for your needs, including biometrics. Call us at (800) 244-6316 to discuss your security needs.