Biometrics are body measurements and calculations related to human characteristics. Biometrics authentication (or realistic authentication) is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance.
The term biometrics relates to metrics related to human characteristics. Specifically for mobile phones the common biometrics utilized for security are fingerprints, Iris (eye) recognition and full facial recognition.
Additionally, heart rate and SpO2 (the estimate of arterial oxygen saturation) information can be collected to support ‘health’ related applications.
Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals. Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological characteristics, which are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odor/scent. Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait, keystroke, signature, behavioral profiling, and voice. Some researchers have coined the term ‘behaviometrics’ to describe the latter class of biometrics.
More traditional means of access control include token-based identification systems, such as a driver’s license or passport, and knowledge-based identification systems, such as a password or personal identification number. Since biometric identifiers are unique to individuals, they are more reliable in verifying identity than token and knowledge-based methods; however, the collection of biometric identifiers raises privacy concerns about the ultimate use of this information.