Articles about biometrics

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Q: Why are you running in the office? A: This is my password for El Reg

A trio of Indian boffins have studied the use of smartphone accelerometers as biometric sensors and concluded they could be a handy way to identify users. Unlike the collaboration between American and Hong Kong researchers who want “who are you?” for ad-tracking, the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka boffins' …

Boffins take biometric logins to heart, literally: Cardiac radar IDs users to unlock their PCs

The next form of biometric identification may be a heart scan. A group of computer scientists have proposed a system called Cardiac Scan, which uses a cheap and cheerful Doppler radar to wirelessly map out the dimensions of your beating heart. They say your old ticker's shape and pulsations are unique, and therefore useful for …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Sep 2017

UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots

The UK Home Office has put out to tender a £4.6m ($5.9m) contract for facial recognition software – despite the fact its biometrics strategy and retention systems remain embroiled in controversy. According to the tender announcement, a company is sought to provide "a combination of biometric algorithm software and associated …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2017

Did eye just do that? Microsoft brings gaze tracking to Windows 10

Goodbye, keyboard. Goodbye, mouse. To use Windows, soon all you'll need is your vision. In addition to native eye-tracking support, Windows 10 will eventually offer users the option to control the mouse, keyboard and text-to-speech with only their eyes and a camera, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced last week at Redmond's …
Andrew Silver, 2 Aug 2017
Human iris. Photo by SHutterstock

The eyes have IT: TSB to roll out iris-scanning tech for mobile banking

TSB has announced plans to roll out iris-scanning technology for its mobile banking app from September. The move will make the UK high street bank the first in Europe to debut iris-scanning tech. TSB's iris recognition tech [source: TSB] Biometric authentication for banking, in general, has become commonplace over recent …
John Leyden, 20 Jul 2017
Picture of multi-layered sandwich. Photo by Shutterstock

Biometric data stolen from corporate lunch rooms system

A US payment kiosk vendor has been stung by malware scum. Avanti Markets helps employers monetise the lunch-room and get rid of counter-service, going beyond a simple vending machine to cover the whole sandwiches-fruit-drinks-junk-food with one payment system. Last week, as first spotted by Brian Krebs, the company posted …
Superhero on a mobile phone. pic by shutterstock

Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Scientists are working on a way of using the internal orientation sensors in smartphones to defend against efforts to trick voice recognition systems. As the use of smartphones, wearables and voice-based assistants is on the rise, so is the risk that criminals will try to use those systems to their advantage by impersonating …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2017
YouTube India logo - not official

India makes biometrics mandatory for all e-gov projects

India's issued three “Guidance Notes” outlining its government's policies for procuring software and entering into alliances and running RFPs. The new Model RFP Templates and Guidance Notes for Implementing Services (PDF), RFP Templates and Guidance Notes for Consulting Services (PDF) and Model and Model RFP Templates and …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
Chaos Computer Club's iris-scan demo

How good are selfies these days? Good enough to fool Samsung Galaxy S8 biometrics

Chaos Computer Club's "Starbug" has taken a look at the Samsung Galaxy S8's iris-scanning authentication feature and found you can beat it with a photograph. The tools the group used aren't even remotely sophisticated: a camera in night mode, a contact lens, and a printer. To fool the sensor, supplied to Samsung by Princeton …
His master's voice

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Hastening the arrival of a world in which simulation is indistinguishable from reality, startup Lyrebird has announced plans to power up an online service that can imitate a person's voice. Given roughly a minute of voice samples from a specific person, the upstart's system can, via an API, convert supplied text into spoken …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Apr 2017

Mastercard launches card that replaces PIN with fingerprint sensor

Mastercard has unveiled its new biometric card which adds a fingerprint sensor to the chip as a replacement security measure to the four-digit PIN. When the biometric card is placed into a retailer's EMV terminal, the owner will be able to place their finger on the embedded sensor. Their fingerprint will then be verified …

Brit cops can keep millions of mugshots of innocent folks on file

After unlawfully hoarding millions of mugshots of one-time suspects, police chiefs in England and Wales were this week told to delete the snaps – but only if people in the photos complain. And even then, requests can be easily waved away. This is all set out in the UK Home Office's "Review of the Use and Retention of Custody …
Judge with gun

Smart guns are a neat idea on paper. They'll never survive reality

Comment A bright-eyed MIT undergraduate implausibly branded "the Mark Zuckerberg of guns" has recycled an age-old solution looking for a problem – the smart gun. Kai Kloepfer, the undergrad lad in question, received a $50,000 grant from the American Smart Tech Challenges Foundation in 2014 to develop his idea of a Beretta pistol …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017
Hippie peace, image via Shutterstock

Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

Researchers from Japan's National Institute of Informatics say people's fingerprints could be extracted from photographs using yet-to-be built technology. The eggheads warn that fingerprints can be copied from photographs snapped up to three metres from targets. Prints would need to be captured clearly in strong lighting, …
Darren Pauli, 12 Jan 2017
Privacy image

EyePhones packing Iris-scanning authentication to go mainstream

ABI Research analyst Marina Lu has picked iris scanning as "one of the safest" means to secure user identities on smartphones. The Singapore-based researcher says the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 released last month will help spread the technology and increase adoption of mobile payments. Lu says the biometric authentication …
Team Register, 22 Sep 2016

Brits: Can banks do biometric security? We'd trust them before the government

Brits have more faith in their banks than government agencies to roll out authentication technologies based on biometrics, according to a new survey from Visa. Consumers are nearly twice as likely to trust banks to store and keep their biometric information such as fingerprints and iris scans safe (60 per cent), than they are …
John Leyden, 19 Sep 2016
Game of Thrones

Boffins' blur-busting face recognition can ID you with one bad photo

Scientists have found a way to accurately identify completely obscured faces using recognition systems trained on only a handful of well-lit photos. The work by Seong Joon Oh, Rodrigo Benenson, Mario Fritz, and Bernt Schiele of Max Planck Institute in Saarbrücken, Germany, finds faces can be recognised with up to 91.5 per cent …
Darren Pauli, 12 Aug 2016

You really do want to use biometrics for payments, beam banks

Two in three European consumers actively want to use biometric technology when making payments, according to a new Visa-sponsored survey. Nearly three in four (73 per cent) see two-factor authentication – where a form of biometrics is used in conjunction with a payment device – as a secure payment authentication method. More …
John Leyden, 14 Jul 2016

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