Iris Scanners and Recognition: A Biometric Identification Technique for Airport Security Systems

iris biometrics for airport security

Iris recognition for airport security is becoming more prevalent around the globe.

This informative post is brought to you by ADAGOLD, an Australian-based Global Aviation specialist that has been providing market leading aircraft charter solutions.

Iris scanners are used to detect recognition of an individual’s identity by analyzing the random patterns that visibly appear inside a person’s iris from a certain distance. The technology combines optics, statistical conclusions, pattern recognition, and computer vision.

Among virtually every scanner and biometric device that’s available today, it’s agreed that iris recognition technology is by far the most accurate. The technique itself is relatively new, only in existence since 1994.

The Science Behind Iris Recognition

Every person’s eye has a colored ring around their pupil called the iris; and like a thumbprint, no two are exactly the same. Each one displays a special pattern that randomly develops while in utero and is therefore unique in its own way. This process is known as morphogenesis. Basically, the iris is essentially a muscle that controls the pupil’s size, serving to regulate how much light can penetrate the eye.

Iris recognition isn’t hindered in any way by contact lenses or eyeglasses and can be accurately scanned from between 10 cm to as far away as a couple of meters distance. As long as the iris never gets injured, it virtually remains the same over time and just one initial scan can last forever.

Although a few surgical and medical procedures can sometimes affect the general color and shape of a person’s iris, the delicate texture stays the same for several decades. Even people who are blind can utilize iris recognition technology since it’s based on pattern rather than sight.

Iris Scanning and Biometrics

Iris scanning is literally the best method for biometric identification. This is because the iris is basically an internal organ that’s primarily protected from any damage by the cornea. The technology is even more accurate than using fingerprint identification, which can sometimes be hard to identify after many years of certain kinds of manual labor that may affect the hands.

Airport Security and Iris Recognition

In some airports around the world, iris scanners and recognition technology are already being used as well as in certain military bases where quick, dependable identification is critically important. Currently, they’re the most accurate kind of modern biometrics available. Security, especially in airports, has never been more important than today. Think of the implications of someone that wanted to charter aircraft with ill intentions and how iris scanning could prevent a negative incidence from ever happening. The jet charter industry could employ the widespread use of iris scanning technology and make the skies much safer overall.

How Iris Scanning Works

Before an iris is scanned, it’s located with the use of certain landmark features. In general, these key features along with the iris’s unique shape, enables extraction, feature isolation, and imaging. Localizing someone’s iris is a critical first step in recognizing it due to “noise” in the image such as eyelashes, eyelids, pupils, and reflections in the image that could potentially result in poor performance when scanned.

General Uses of Iris Scanning

Some of the main uses for iris scanning today include aviation security and regulating access to airport’s restricted areas, passport substitutions, computer logins, database access, ‘watch list’ border crossing screenings, mother-newborn pairing in hospitals, and control of access to certain premises.

Because iris recognition is still somewhat new in terms of technology, the concept and the industry are still evolving. Through the commitment and determination of government assessments and the iris industry itself, progress and general growth will continue to develop.

This informative post is brought to you by ADAGOLD, an Australian-based Global Aviation specialist that has been providing market leading aircraft charter solutions.

Fingerprint-Locked Smartphones: Unlocking Your Constitutional Rights?

biometrics on smart phones have raised constitutional questions

Does the use of biometrics for smart phone access have an effect on our constitutional rights?

The following guest post was submitted by Sarah Smith.

Biometrics may soon effect the outcome of criminal law proceedings if a Virginia Beach judge’s ruling is any indication of the implications of owning a fingerprint-locked smartphone. According to the judge, such devices are not covered under the 5th Amendment, which protects individuals who refuse to give up their passcodes to their mobile devices. Individuals may now be compelled to give their fingerprints for law enforcement to access their mobile devices. This comes as no surprise to experts who predicted that such a matter would arise with biometric security features on mobile devices.

David Baust is an Emergency Medical Services captain who has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to strangle his girlfriend to death. Prosecutors in the case have reason to believe that Baust’s smartphone may contain a video of the offense. Prosecuting attorneys filed a petition with the court asking that the smartphone be made available to them. In the defense attorney’s dispute against granting the petition, it was argued that refusing to make the smartphone available was an action that is protected under the 5th Amendment. According to Judge Steven Frucci, the 5th Amendment does not apply to Baust’s smartphone since it is accessible by biometrics. If the smartphone had been locked and accessible with only a passcode, then the 5th Amendment would apply since it would be protecting Baust’s right to not reveal information that could lead to self-incrimination. Since the smartphone could be unlocked with Baust’s fingerprint, Judge Frucci decided that a fingerprint was not like a passcode but was actually a physical component. Although the judge ruled that a fingerprint-locked smartphone could legally be accessed, he agreed with Baust’s attorney that in this particular case self-incrimination would occur and the smartphone will not be accessed.

It is alarming that mobile devices that feature biometrics as a security measure may not be protected under the 5th Amendment. Experts in the legal and technology fields anticipated such a matter happening when Apple initially marketed a smartphone that could be unlocked with the user’s fingerprint. This case has caught the attention of Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization. Hanni Fakhoury, an attorney with the organization, acknowledged that smartphone users who utilize the biometrics security feature may not be afforded the same protection in the legal system that a passcode would allow. While it is common in criminal law cases for the prosecutor to file pleadings to compel evidence from the defendant, there are no clear cut laws on how biometric security features should be considered. Criminal lawyers like Quinn & Scattini will surely come across biometric security features in future cases and will have to consider the legality of making these devices accessible to the prosecution.

While the world of technology is constantly evolving, constitutional rights and laws have been slow to keep up with these changes. There will likely be many more cases that come through the legal system that involve biometric security features on mobile devices. The question of whether it is legal to compel the user to hand over his or her fingerprint will no doubt arise again. In this particular case, the defendant was essentially protected from doing so because handing over his fingerprint would be incriminating. But what about other smartphone users? Are their fingerprints really the key to unlocking their right to the 5th Amendment?

Looking Ahead: What New Biometric Modalities are on the Horizon?

what future biometric identification management modalities can we expect to see?

The evolution of biometrics will bring brand new modalities for individual identification.

The following post was written by Tanvir Ahmed, Executive (SEO/ SEM/ PPC) Business Development & Interactive Marketing at M2SYS Technology

There are countless distinguishing behavioral traits and physical attributes which make each of us unique individuals. Biometrics is a science that identifies and captures these characteristics converting them into templates that can be read by biometric hardware devices and interpreted by back end identification matching software as authentication proxies of our physical selves in the digital realm.

New Approaches in Biometric Human Identification

An individual provides many physical and behavioral attributes that are suitable for biometric comparison and searches. Recent advancements in modern biometric technology sensing and computing continues to improve the ability to perform biometric matching faster and more accurately than in the past. The biometrics industry is evolving to isolate more individual physiological characteristics for identification, moving beyond traditional credentials such as fingerprints and introducing new technologies that rely on different physical traits and attributes.

The Rise of Alternative Biometric Modalities

Over the past few decades biometric technology has been extensively used for bonding digital data to our identity with permanency, consistency, and unambiguity in both the government and private sectors. Although most of the advancements in the field of biometrics (i.e. fingerprint, palm vein and facial recognition which are field-proven in large-scale deployments) have already come to fruition, some attractive and striking new biometric modalities (e.g. finger vein, iris and voice recognition, DNA, etc.) are evoking public interest. In addition to these commonly implemented or studied biometric modalities, there are many other new biometric modalities in various stages of development and assessment.
However no biometric modality is impeccable and each one has advantages and disadvantages for a given use case. As all the modalities are largely statistical in nature, the more data you put in a set of biometric samples, and the more likely that it is unique.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most auspicious biometric modalities:

Finger Vein

The idea of finger vein recognition is relatively younger then fingerprint or facial recognition. Finger vein technology uses pattern-recognition techniques based on images of human finger vein patterns beneath the skin’s surface.

The term “iris recognition” became viral sometime in the late 1990’s. It is an automated method of biometric identification that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques to identify an individual by analyzing the random pattern of their iris and is widely considered the most accurate biometric modality on the market.


Voice recognition is a relatively new biometric modality used to recognize individuals through natural voice patterns, eliminating PINs, passwords, and unique questions. Voice recognition relies on features influenced by an individual’s vocal tract and behavioral characteristics.


The introduction of “Rapid DNA” technology promises to revolutionize the practice of forensic identification and DNA biometrics could be the most exact form of identifying any given individual. DNA can be collected from any number of sources: blood, hair, finger nails, mouth swabs, blood stains, saliva, straws etc.

Most of these biometric modalities are already in use to secure areas, maintain workforce management time and attendance records, and to enhance user convenience. Many other biometric modalities (i.e. gait recognition, heartbeat recognition, ear recognition, gesture recognition, lip recognition etc.) are in various stages of development and assessment and could soon become mainstream for individual identification:.

Gait Recognition: Gait analysis is the systematic study of human movement. It is an emerging biometric technology in which people are identified purely through the analysis of the way they walk.
Heartbeat Recognition: Capturing the electrocardiogram (ECG) of a person can be used for human identification as an individual’s heartbeat is as unique as his/her fingerprint (as reported on our blog last year!). Heartbeat recognition technology uses unique cardiac rhythms to authenticate an individual’s identity.
Ear Recognition: The shape of a person’s outer ear may prove to be one of the most accurate and least intrusive ways to identify people as the detailed structure of the ear is not only unique, but also permanent.
Gesture Recognition: Gesture recognition technology interprets body movements via mathematical algorithms. It includes ongoing work in a camera’s vision field on capturing bodily motion or state and movements.
Lip Recognition: One of the most interesting methods of human identification is a person’s lip motion. It utilizes the geometrical parameters developed in order to describe human lip shapes for biometric applications.

What other future biometric modalities can you add to this list?

The Top 5 Biometric Identification Management Industry Blogs

biometric identification management blogs

If you’re thirsty for more information, news, and opinions on the biometric identification management industry, follow these top blogs.

The following post was written by  Mohammad Shahnewaz,
Sr. Executive – SEO, SEM, PPC
Business Development & Interactive Marketing Dept. at M2SYS Technology


The recent iCloud hack that compromised celebrity personal accounts, leading to the publication of nude photos and videos was a sharp reminder that businesses are vulnerable. Despite taking various security precautions to protect confidential customer and business data, many businesses continually fail to prevent breaches. Perhaps it may be time for industry leaders to understand that in order to prevent modern security breaches, there is no more effective option than understanding what data breach security options are available and implementing a strong identity management system.

What’s the solution?

If you are looking for a solution that will secure valuable data in an efficient and convenient way, one of the most advanced and modern and high tech choices would be to implement a biometric identity management system. However, there is no “one size fits all” biometric solution available – the idea is to gather knowledge and educate yourself about this technology first to not only understand its value, but determine which biometric technology is going to be the most effective for your own unique needs.

Where do you turn for biometric industry information and education?

There is a sea of biometric identity management knowledge available on the web, but it’s difficult to know where to start. To give you a hand, we have prepared a list of the top 5 biometric identity management industry blogs that provide you with frequent, relevant, quality content covering a full range of security issues relevant to any business or government worldwide.

The Top 5 Biometric Identification Management Industry Blogs (in no particular order)

1. Biometric Update
Biometric Update was first published in 2007 & was founded by Stephen Mayhew and Allison Heather. If you are looking to find information about upcoming industry events and conferences you need to visit their site. Tracking all the latest industry news and events, is also one of the leading biometric news portals that publishes breaking news, analysis, and research about the global biometrics market. Each day they publish original articles, interviews, videos, and podcasts that focus on global developments in biometrics technology. On this site you will also find a list of industry specific biometric companies who provide specialized solutions.

Follow Biometric Update on Twitter @BiometricUpdate

2. Planet Biometrics
Owned by UK based company Science Media Partners Ltd, Planet Biometrics started its publication earlier in 2011. Their managing editor Mark Lockie is also the founder of the site. Their website is focused exclusively on the global biometric industry, and if you are a newbie into the world of biometric technology, we strongly recommend subscribing to their newsletter. These newsletters provide industry expert’s views, provides critical analysis, uncovers breaking news in biometric identification management, and most importantly, provides educational information and advice for end users. Their professional, content-rich, and informative blog is the hallmark of the site.

Follow Planet Biometrics on Twitter @biometric_man

3. Find Biometrics
Peter O’Neill is the founder and president of and has an extensive media background both in online and broadcasting environments. Since it was established in 2002, Peter encouraged his team to publish biometric industry news, informative articles, and interviews with industry leaders, featuring exclusive videos that provide an in depth look at the most important and pressing issues facing the biometrics community. Their Web site also maintains a calendar for the most important and current industry events and conferences. Their modality based biometric vendor list is a perfect place to look for the best options available for you.

Follow FindBiometrics on Twitter @FindBiometrics

4. SecureID News
If you want to increase your knowledge base and understand how biometrics can be paired with NFC, RFID, and smartcards, then you need to visit SecureID News produced by AVISIAN Publishing. Their editor Zack Martin, is a tech-savvy editor and reporter with more than 12-years of experience. His curated contents cover all the major vertical markets of identification technology with a special focus on government ID projects.
Follow Avisian on Twitter @Avisian

5. M2SYS Blog
If you are reading this blog, then you are probably aware of the fact that it is operated by one of the leading biometric research and development firms in the world, M2SYS Technology. Here, you will find relevant real world biometric identification management deployment experience, education, and experience directly from our team which will help your decision making process for choosing the best identity management system that fits your need.

Through our blog we share:

  • Biometric research and development news
  • Real life critical biometric deployment issues, challenges, and solutions from our team of experts
  • Ideas, views, and opinions on the most important issues facing biometric industry
  • Links and updates to biometric industry related FAQs, case studies, whitepapers, videos, articles, and Infographics
  • Real world experiences and results shared from thousands of biometric identity management deployments throughout the world for governments, enterprises, healthcare and financial organizations, and individuals

Follow M2SYS Technology on Twitter @M2SYS

(Honorable Mention)

6. Securlinx
Our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the great work that Jason Hodge from Securlinx brings to the biometric identification management industry on their blog. Jason always has insightful and clever commentaries on the latest biometric news and events and his blog is definitely worth a bookmark. Check out Jason’s blog for recent news and events in the biometric industry, and their real world applications.

Follow Securlinx on Twitter @SecurLinx

So, there you have it, 5 of the top biometric identity management industry blogs on the web. Pay them all a visit, add them to your RSS feeds, subscribe to their newsletter and watch as your IQ on biometric technology goes up by several points a week.

What additional biometric news sites or blogs can you add to the list?

This blog post was written by Mohammad Shahnewaz, Senior Executive in our Business Development & Interactive Marketing Department

Will Apple Pay (and Touch ID) Help Advance U.S. Consumer Acceptance of Biometrics?

using fingerprint biometrics for secure retail payments

Will the introduction of Apple Pay help advance the use of biometrics for secure retail transactions in the U.S. market?

The following post was written by Arifin Hussain, Executive – SEO, SEM, PPC Business Development & Interactive Marketing Dept. with M2SYS Technology.

U.S consumers entered the biometric based consumer payment space with a big splash through integration of near-field communications (NFC) technology to allow secure wireless payments through a mobile wallet service called Apple Pay. Apple Pay uses Touch ID – a biometric fingerprint authentication technology available on the latest version of Apple’s smartphones to authenticate customers for retail purchases.

Biometric identification is already being used as a security measure in many global verticals such as financial services, healthcare, and workforce management but has been largely left out of the mix as a secure authentication mechanism for retail transactions. Will the recent introduction of Apple Pay via Touch ID help to accelerate acceptance of biometrics among U.S. consumers as a secure identification technology in a retail environment? After all, consumers flock en masse to Apple products as if they were a cult in and of themselves populated by consumers with voracious appetites for new technology.  Unlike other security systems that rely on passwords or payment cards, one of the greatest advantages of biometrics is the individual identification accuracy it provides. Physiological characteristics such as fingerprints, finger veins, palm veins, iris, voice, and facial recognition provide accurate and secure authentication and cannot be easily replicated by criminals.

How Much More Secure Is Biometric Technology?

In the United States, banks have been using biometrics since the mid-2000s to secure self-service access to safe cash deposit boxes for consumers. However, U.S. consumers are worried about privacy and the potential misuse of their captured biometric data specifically with where and how the data is stored and secured.  Despite worries about someone stealing your phone or it being susceptible to hackers, experts say Apple Pay actually adds significant security to your payment transactions, even more than traditional credit cards.

Apple Pay has proved that using biometric to secure retail payments is convenient, safe, and secure as their system requires users to input their VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit card details into their phone and upon receipt, the card network will send a token and the transaction security key to a special chip within the iOS device. In order to complete a transaction, users need to put their fingerprint on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Apple’s latest smartphones to verify they are who they say they are.  When this credential is accepted, the phone’s token and a transaction security key will be sent to the merchant. The card network will then verify the transaction, pass over the information to the bank issuer for token decryption and then both the token and security key will be accepted by the merchant via NFC.  All process are done by involving three separate parties for quick and secure payment verification.

The user credentials and fingerprint data in the Apple Pay programs are highly encrypted and secured in a chip within the device. Even Apple does not have access to any of the data and purchase history. Therefore, if the phone is lost, an end user can easily turn off the system and remotely wipe out all payment and credentialing information.

Why We May See Growth of Consumer Acceptance on Using Biometrics

Biometrics is a strong technology to help solve the problem of secure and accurate retail payment authentication and eliminate the need for consumers to enter a password, and the use of biometrics is gaining popularity not only in the U.S but also worldwide. For example, in China 2.78 billion retail transactions using biometric authentication have been conducted via Alipay Wallet, the online payment service by the giant B2B marketplace, Alibaba.

Apple’s clout with biometric mobile wallet technology has transformed people to believe in the benefits of using biometrics to secure retail transactions. Biometric payment authentication is a mass scale reality now that Apple has released TouchID and many major banks and national retail chain stores in the U.S. are accepting Apple pay to secure retail purchases. This new biometric based mobile wallet provides an easier way to pay wirelessly and securely with your finger as a payment card alternative. Apple Pay is considered as a convenient solution for retailers to replace the security challenged swipe based payment methods and a more comfortable solution for consumers to pay via fingerprint instead of being worried about lost cards or theft. Apple Pay would also have a positive impact on contextual mobile commerce around couponing, tickets, identity, and the access management industry.

Furthermore, Apple’s success on using secure biometric authentication in the payment system accelerates support to use biometrics as a security measure. A global survey conducted by Unisys of consumer attitudes to using biometrics found a 5% increase in people who favor the use of biometrics as a preferred method of identity verification. Supporters of biometrics were mainly in the North American region (71%) followed by Europe (69%) and the Asia-Pacific region (68%).

The Benefits of Using Biometrics for Consumers

The benefits of biometrics for consumer use are huge, adding security to products and services where it is applicable. Speed of access and accurate authentication is critical to the success of biometric implementations in the retail industry. Consumers have little patience for time-consuming authentication, despite the added security that biometrics technology offers. Here are some key reasons on why consumers may be more likely to accept biometrics for individual identification:

  • Security – Biometric technology has been considered as a high level security solution for governments and businesses for a long time, and providing secure authentication for consumers can help bring more reliable security technologies to the retail industry.
  • Speed and Accuracy – Consumers frequently need to provide their unique authentication credentials to make purchases and biometric technology can provide a faster and more accurate identification solution within moments rather than using traditional payment methods that are more susceptible to fraud.
  • Convenience – Biometric identification methods offer convenience. Biometric physiological characteristics cannot be easily replicated and provide a more convenient authentication credential traditional than passwords or PINS. It can also prevent unauthorized access to any device or information when protected by biometrics.


User acceptance of biometric authentication in e-commerce clearly indicates that security, convenience, ease of use, and greater privacy act as strong motivators when present. Despite worries about privacy and security, the acceptance of biometrics acceptance is gaining momentum for use in retail. Apple Pay can utilize the benefits of biometrics as quick and secure way of retail transaction authorization and promises to boost user acceptance of biometrics among U.S. consumers.