Chapter 2 Update: Biometrics

Believe it or not, biometrics has been around for over 20 years. Recently I participated in an ISSA Webinar titled “Biometrics & Identity Technology Status Review” ( The moderator was Phillip Griffin, ISSA Fellow, and the speakers were Michael F. Angelo and Kevin Mangold.

Angelo began the 2-hour session with an eagle eye approach to the topic – he began with definitions types, and a brief history of biometric technology and application. For him the three basics of biometrics are: quality control, types, and anti-spoofing. He divided the kinds of biometrics into four categories:

  1. Common (fingerprint, iris, face, voice)
  2. Becoming more common (handwriting, keystroke, hand geometry)
  3. Rare (retina, handprint, thermography of faces)
  4. Exotic (DNA, gait, brain waves, smell)

Angelo concluded by stating his belief that privacy and specifically legislation passed because of privacy concerns is the number one threat against the full-scale use of biometrics and application development.

The second speaker was Kevin Mangold a computer scientist from NIST. His focus was on security standards for identity management and biometrics. He emphasized the work of OASIS – Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, which began in 1993 and currently has over 5000 participants from 600+ organizations and 65+ countries (

The ISSA conference page for this session does have a PowerPoint slide deck you can review for details of the above discussion.

Some recent articles and additional resources to review regarding biometrics are listed below. Although it’s been around for a while biometrics are developing rapidly as more and more consumers express concern regarding safeguarding their data and personal information.

What has been your experience with biometrics? Any research, books, etc. you would recommend for others to review won this topic? Join the conversation by entering your comments below.


Mobile Biometrics Market Poised To Explode By 2020

Amanda Vicinanzo, 08/25/2015


Biometrics: The password you cannot change

Aimee Chanthadavong, 08/26/2015


The Boring and Exciting World of Biometrics

Tim De Chant 06/18/2013


The Biometric Consortium

Biometrics Institute


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