Monday, May 16, 2011

Iris recognition gadget eliminates passwords | Security

This is a visible wavelength iris image that c...Image via Wikipedia

Federal Biometric ID Cards Get Iris Scan Option

Biometric ID cards being developed for federal employees and contractors may include iris scanning in addition to fingerprinting, according to updated specifications released by the federal organization for IT standards.
A new draft of Special Publication 800-76-2 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) includes a clause that would require the use of iris scanning as biometric identification if a person doesn't have fingerprints or if fingerprinting is problematic, according to the document.

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The document includes specifications for iris images stored both on and off the personal identity verification (PIV) cards people will use to confirm their identity; for iris capture devices; for the semantic properties of an iris image; for an iris image capture interface; and for an iris recognition interface.
The new draft also includes specifications for an option agencies have to add an algorithm that would provide on-card comparison of fingerprints rather than requiring a personal identification number (PIN) when checking someone's credentials.
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The original set-up for the system required a cardholder to enter a PIN number to check card credentials against a card reader. The new draft allows for agencies to choose to include an algorithm on the card that would eliminate the need for PIN entry to check credentials, according to the new draft.

Iris recognition gadget eliminates passwords
Imagine logging in to Facebook or eBay with just a blink of an eye. A new gadget for consumers may soon make that possible.
EyeLock will let you log into a Web site with the blink of an eye.
EyeLock will enable you to log in to a Web site with the blink of an eye.
(Credit: Hoyos Group)
Designed by the Hoyos Group, a device called EyeLock uses iris-recognition as an alternative to passwords to log you in to password-protected Web sites and applications. Although similar eye-scanning devices are already used in the business and industrial markets, Hoyos calls EyeLock "the first and only portable iris-scanning device for consumers."
The scanning device, which resembles a wand, plugs into a base that connects to your PC via a USB port. After you install the software and choose the sites and applications that you want to iris-protect, you pass the scanner in front of your eye. A snapshot is taken of your iris to confirm your identity. Assuming you're the real you, you're then granted immediate access to the secure Web site or application.
With security always a primary concern, the company boasts that the device is unhackable.
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