Shawn Hessinger

Quest for Perfect Biometrics Has Researcher All Ears

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Steve_Lockstep
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Re: E-chat on "Biometertics: Human ID by Personal Characteristics" Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET
Steve_Lockstep   6/21/2012 11:35:58 PM
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The single most important thing that could be done to improve the biometrics discourse would be to re-frame the language used.  There can be no such thing as a "perfect" biometric, and I don't mean that in the philosophical sense.

Biometrics always commit two types of error: False Accepts and False Rejects.  Because real peoples' biological traits change over time, and because they present differently each time, there's an inevitable tradeoff.  The lower the False Accept rate, the higher the False Reject rate, and vice versa.

So what could "perfect" mean? A biometric that never ever confused you for someone else would refuse to recognise you. And a biometric that never ever rejected you, would happily accept others instead of you. 

Biometrics can never be even close to "perfect"; see also http://lockstep.com.au/blog/2012/05/06/biometrics-must-be-fallible


 

Shawn Hessinger
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Blogger
E-chat on "Biometertics: Human ID by Personal Characteristics" Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET
Shawn Hessinger   5/8/2012 11:58:12 PM
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Hope everyone in the community will join us for our e-chat on "Biometertics: Human ID by Personal Characteristics" Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.

Daniel
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Data Doctor
Re: Quest for Perfect Biometrics Has Researcher All Ears
Daniel   4/18/2012 7:30:38 AM
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Shawn, am first time hearing about identifying ear as a part of biometric application.  So far we had seen about face reorganization, thump impression and retinal analysis for biometric identification.  But I don't know whether the ear patters are either unique or different across peoples. But as you mentioned it has an advantage of no need for physical contact with the instrument, so hopefully it's more hygienic.

SaneIT
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Data Doctor
Re: Quest for Perfect Biometrics Has Researcher All Ears
SaneIT   4/18/2012 7:29:26 AM
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Thank you Shawn, from that it sounds like unless you make drastic changes to your ear, or have an injury that the system would work for quite a long time.  I suppose after someone hits 70 years of age they can just re-scan every few years the way we renew driver's licenses to keep up with those age related changes.

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Quest for Perfect Biometrics Has Researcher All Ears
Shawn Hessinger   4/17/2012 11:55:38 PM
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SaneIT,

Just for your and everyone else's edification, I thought I'd add some excerpts from the study to which Mark Nixon contributed, "A Survey on Ear Biometrics," for more on how ear recognition is done:

[The] ear biometric system may be viewed as a typical pattern recognition system where the input image is reduced to a set of features that is subsequently used to compare against the feature sets of other images in order to determine its identity. Ear recognition can be accomplished using 2D images of the ear or 3D point clouds that capture the three-dimensional details of the ear surface.

Here's more on the change of ears overtime:

The forensic science literature reports that ear growth after the first four months of birth is highly linear. The rate of stretching is approximately five times greater than normal during the period from four months to the age of eight; after which it is constant until around the age of seventy when it again increases.

 

BethSchultz
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Re: easy to hide
BethSchultz   4/17/2012 4:30:42 PM
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Buik, not ready for the Olympic Games, however, to be sure!

 

Michelle
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Data Doctor
Re: Quest for Perfect Biometrics Has Researcher All Ears
Michelle   4/17/2012 2:22:54 PM
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You bring up some excellent points about changes over time. I'm curious how these issues will be handled should the technology be used in real-world settings.

It sounds like your offices needed more than one method of identifying authorized personnel.

bulk
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Data Doctor
Re: easy to hide
bulk   4/17/2012 2:05:05 PM
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Beth, that is what I was thinking would be the most common application for that kind of biometric platform.

 

Think of how it would apply in London, with all the survalence they have. just randomly scanning ears as they pop up on video and run it against a criminal database. I dont think something like that would really fly in the US, but in England they already have the network and lack of privacy laws to make it happen.

ckelly1
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Prospector
Re: Quest for Perfect Biometrics Has Researcher All Ears
ckelly1   4/17/2012 1:44:43 PM
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Shawn.  As someone who has just gone through the fiasco having to get legible fingerprints for a security clearance, I can tell you this is welcome news.  Anything has to be better from the user experience.  I had both ink and digital and they were never quite good enough.  The whole experience of having to go to a police station is very uncomfortable.   Would't it be nice to just say..let me show you my ear!


BethSchultz
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Blogger
Re: easy to hide
BethSchultz   4/17/2012 11:47:43 AM
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bulk, well that is true! I was thinking of security checkpoints in more public venues -- but even that's a stretch.

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