A wide variety of systems require reliable personal recognition schemes to either confirm or determine the identity of an individual requesting their services. The purpose of such schemes is to ensure that the rendered services are accessed only by a legitimate user, and not anyone else.
Examples of such applications include secure access to buildings, computer systems, laptops, cellular phones and ATMs. In the absence of robust personal recognition schemes, these systems are vulnerable to the wiles of an impostor. Biometric recognition, or simply biometrics, refers to the automatic recognition of individuals based on their physiological and/or behavioral characteristics. By using biometrics it is possible to confirm or establish an individual’s identity based on “who she is”, rather than by “what she possesses” (e.g., an ID card) or “what she remembers” (e.g., a password). In this paper, we give a brief overview of the field of biometrics and summarize some of its advantages, disadvantages, strengths, limitations, and related privacy concerns.
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, Special Issue on Image- and Video-Based Biometrics