The use of fingerprints for identification has been employed in law enforcement for about a century. A much broader application of fingerprints is for personal authentication, for instance to access a computer, a network, a bank-machine, a car, or a home.
The topic of this chapter is fingerprint verification, where “verification” implies a user matching a fingerprint against a single fingerprint associated with the identity that the user claims.
The following topics are covered: history, image processing methods, enrollment and verification procedures, system security considerations, recognition rate statistics, fingerprint capture devices, combination with other biometrics, and the future of fingerprint verification.
The use of fingerprints as a biometric is both the oldest mode of computer-aided, personal identification and the most prevalent in use today. However, this widespread use of fingerprints has been and still is largely for law enforcement applications.
There is expectation that a recent combination of factors will favor the use of fingerprints for the much larger market of personal authentication. These factors include: small and inexpensive fingerprint capture devices, fast computing hardware, recognition rate and speed to meet the needs of many applications, the explosive growth of network and Internet transactions, and the heightened awareness of the need for ease-of-use as an essential component of reliable security.
Author: Lawrence O’Gorman