Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Could biometrics help protect the old and isolated during big freezes?

As ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures continue to grip the UK one important question raises its head again, could we being doing more to protect the elderly and vulnerable in their homes?
Death rates amongst the elderly and vulnerable have shot up rapidly as some succumb to the effects of cold on their health, worries of using heating due to rising costs and lack of contact with family, friends, neighbours and carers. Would a simple to use fingerprint biometric system help to support their safety and security by allowing them to show they have gotten up, are active during the day and gone to bed safely?
A long held dream of Devi Sohanta is to help the elderly and vulnerable to live fuller and safer lives by applying biometrics to help keep contact, maintain security and give these people peace of mind. Devi set up Global Bio Tec to develop technology that could easily go into homes, residential care settings and sheltered housing projects etc. and be simply used by people. After thorough testing and approval by the Secure By Design accreditation programme the Connective Touch range of biometric fingerprint access and communication systems are on the market.
Could a web-enabled biometric fingerprint pad help to connect old people and those who need monitoring by carers in a cheap and effective way that will bring them help promptly if needed and add extra security for their lives?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Fingerprint biometrics, crime or punishment?

Dr. Peter Waggett, project leader for IBM’s Emerging Technology Programme and chairman of the BSI Biometrics Group spoke at a recent Christmas lunch for Global Bio Tec partners, stakeholders and management in Leamington Spa.
The key question during open discussion with Dr. Wagget was do potential buyers and the public hesitate to install and accept fingerprint biometrics because of the historic and cultural links of taking fingerprints with criminality? What do you think?
Dr. Waggett was there in his capacity as a mentor who has helped advise GBT on setting up and developing their Connective Touch range of biometric access control systems.
Helping the market to understand and adopt biometric solutions is a key goal of the Biometric Centre of Excellence that GBT has helped to found. Dr Waggett was supportive of its aims and said, “The centre of excellence can spread the message on how successful biometric solutions can be developed, following research and development, design and production that will fulfil the market’s need for solutions that deliver on their promise.”
After acknowledging the dedication and determination of GBT founder Devi Sohanta to develop fingerprint verified access control systems that can be used with confidence across a wide range of sectors Dr. Waggett discussed the growing acceptance of fingerprint biometrics. Fingerprint biometric solutions currently account for around 40 per cent of current applications. He predicts that this can only grow as other countries follow the US example of requiring all entrants into the country to provide a fingerprint and as the UK progresses to adopting biometric passports.
One of the issues for biometric technology and fingerprint biometrics has been the fact that there have been few standards for solution developers and manufacturers to follow. Dr Waggett noted the work that the BSI group has been doing in this area with the launch of a PAS for Biometrics anticipated in 2011.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Are Biometric ATM Machines The Answer To Identity Theft?

Skimming involves the use of devices that fit on the ATM card slot and read information off a card’s magnetic strip. A small camera on or around the ATM records PINs as customers press the keypad.

Skimming is the latest threat in the identity theft war. Two men in Chicago have recently been arrested for rigging bank ATMs. ATM’s that usually have a fake cover or card slot put into them are more often found more commonly in stand-alone ATM’s or ATM’s in convenience stores.  In an article on tampabay.com John Joyce, special agent in charge of the US Secret Service Tampa field office advises, “Use legitimate bank ATMs. If possible go inside the bank and use the one inside the bank.”

But should we take after Poland’s BPS SA bank who set a European, and Western milestone, by installing a biometric ATM in Warsaw? Given the financial situations in Greece, Spain and Portugal in recent weeks the Euro Zone has plenty of reasons to be down on itself but Poland is showing a financial-sector first this week, becoming the first European country to install a biometric ATM.

The machine reads your fingerprint as opposed to the magnetic strip on a cash card. All that is needed to withdraw money and access personal information is your fingerprint and your pin number. Is this the answer to identity fraud involving ATMs?

The biometric ATM has been designed to only accept the fingerprint of a living human being. This makes it impossible for people to use a copy. As shown in many movies and often mentioned in tests of biometric devices a copy of a fingerprint, fake hand containing the fingerprint of someone else, or in extreme cases the hand or finger of a dead person cannot be used. Not only do these machines take a copy of the fingerprint they also detect the pulse from the finger which is recorded with the image.

The sensor technology employed by Global Bio Tec in its Connective Touch range of fingerprint
reading access control systems can't be fooled as it takes a scan several layers underneath the skin. The fingerprint often associated with criminality is turned the tables on those engaged in identity theft. 

Monday, 6 December 2010

Biometrics preventing child trafficking in India?

The theft of new-born babies and children in India has been a problem for many years now but biometric technology may be about to change this.

The Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital managed by the Pimpri Chinchwas Municipal Corporation, based in Pimpri in the Pune district of India, near to Mumbai has taken new security steps to prevent the theft of new-borns and children from the hospital.

Child trafficking in India has been ignored and overlooked by police and government officials for many years now with children being stolen to be sold, for adoption to other countries, prostitution and begging. Children have been stolen from hospitals, kidnapped from the street whilst they were playing, taken in their sleep and some gullible parents have even given their child away on the back of promises of education and private boarding schools.

The Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital is hoping to prevent this from happening on their premises by installing CCTV cameras and introducing a biometric identification system which will provide matching number tokens to the parent and the child. The steps have been taken to meet with the Bombay high court guidelines on the issue which were recently received by the hospital.
Along with the suggested security installations the hospital has also employed extra security staff for 24 hour surveillance and employed female guards. Within two hours of the birth the biometric information is taken as well as a print of the footprint of the baby.

Will biometric technology prove successful in India’s quest to prevent child theft?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Do the eyes have it? – maybe not on their own

Manchester Airport has announced a trial of retinal scanning for ‘volunteer’ passengers checking in. The retinal scanning technology is proven and is difficult to fool, although eye diseases can change the retina over time. The issues up for discussion are is it too intrusive, having a light beam shone into your eyes for ten seconds or so could be for some people, is it too expensive and what other systems should be in place to work with retinal scanning?

Fingerprint biometrics are being used in airport security and access control applications all over the world and could be a useful compliment to retinal scanning and other biometric human recognition checks. But, you may believe that fingerprint biometric systems are too easily duped? Perhaps in the past they have been ‘fooled’ as a story from Japan in early 2009 suggested. In that case some ‘special tape’ had been used by a woman with a false passport and a track record of illegal entry to the country to get through immigration controls which included a fingerprint scanner. This may suggest the sensor technology in the Japanese system was not up to scratch.

The new Connective Touch range of fingerprint scanning solutions offer a capacitive sensor that will pinpoint the ridges and valleys of the skin which it reads and then verifies down to four layers below the skin. The company believes that it will still produce a reliable fingerprint scan even if the fingerprint has outer damage from burn scarring etc. Its sensor contains tens of thousands of small capacitive plates, measuring extremely weak electrical charges that are created by the finger. This non-optical measurement generates and stores a 3D fingerprint template which has to be exactly matched by the person who created it. It can’t be fooled by fake fingerprints according to Connective Touch developers Global Bio Tec.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Shopping with Biometrics for France & Germany.

In France the high-street bank ‘Accord’ has been granted permission by the French data Protection Authorities to start a six-month trial into the new biometric payment system. The bank, owned by ‘Auchan’ will offer the service to a number of its current account holders and biometric readers will be installed into a number of French ‘hypermarkets’. Customers start the process by registering their finger data securely with their bank. Once they have ended their shopping they simply touch the finger scanner at the check-out which confirms the buyer’s identity and they amount is then debited from their account. German supermarket Edeka has also been using biometric technology since 2007. (Source: www.connexionfrance.com) 

With this technology in place all over the world there would be no problems of lost payment cards, identity theft or fraud, cards being blocked when you’ve forgotten to warn your bank you are travelling abroad etc. Could biometric technology be the answer?

Could biometric technology could put an end to the frantic searching for keys whilst stood outside in the pouring rain? Could it be the answer to “Did I leave the door unlocked?” “Where did I leave my purse?” “How did I spend that much this month?” 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New age biometrics for old age.

As we all know, biometrics applications are moving into many facets our daily lives. Joanne Perry, Alvolution Demonstrator, has been demonstrating the new secure biometric entry device ‘Flexi’ from Global Bio Tec to healthcare professionals, social care professionals and care home managers.

Reading the headline New Biometric Technology Can Change Lives for the Elderly made me consider how it could really change the lives of older folk. I’m unsure whether my almost 90 year old grandparents would be able to cope with this technology? After thinking about it I realised that maybe it maybe wouldn’t be so complicated for them, they are rather ‘tech-savvy’ for their age. They have their own computer, wireless internet and use Skype to talk to relations abroad.

Living near Croydon for most of their lives they are aware of the high local crime rate and fear of crime really concerns them. Maybe the Flexi could help them feel safer in their own home?

Looking further into it biometrics are being used to help aid the elderly with a range of issues from identity fraud through to much simpler things like ‘Where have I put my keys?’

Care homes and sheltered housing are perfect examples of how biometrics can be safer and support residents to combat fraud and theft. With each room/apartment fitted with a biometric finger print scanner there would be little chance of any personal belongings going missing or people wondering into the wrong rooms when doors have been left unlocked.

Should we be doing more to help the elderly improve their quality of life through biometrics?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Detection deterrent?

Why at a time when terrorists around the world are exploiting the latest technology to conceal their bombs and identities are we still debating about bringing in the full array of biometric scanning technology? Is it cost, the erosion of personal freedoms, or the poor track record of fingerprint, retinal and facial scanning systems? The answer could be a combination of all three points - what do you think?

The first fingerprint bureau was established in Calcutta, India, in 1897, to help classify and organise criminal records and police and security forces have used finger prints extensively to track and capture undesirables ever since. The essential element to a practical and accurate finger print recognition system, according to Devi Sohanta founder of the Biometric Centre of Excellence and MD of British fingerprint biometric pioneers Global Bio Tec, is the quality of the sensor used in the device. It needs to take an accurate and deep penetrating scan of the finger to be as accurate as possible and prevent attempts to fool it.

Economies, major companies and millions of us rely on air travel and transport for wealth generation and our daily bread. We know the consequences of aircraft being hijacked, blown up or deliberately crashed have global and very personal consequences. Can we afford to sit on our hands when we should be holding them up for scanning to make airports, air travel and air cargo more secure?

The track record of biometrics systems for fingerprint identification has been blotted by cheap products that have failed to deliver on their promise. The Promise for airport, air travel and air cargo security from fingerprint biometrics is significant from uncovering the false identities of terrorists, deterring their attempts to travel right through to controlling the access of airport employees from land-side to air-side secure areas. Our finger prints provide a confirmation of our identity which is unique and can't be copied or destroyed. It really is elementary!

Monday, 1 November 2010

It's elementary my dear...

It's easy to understand the 'criminal' damage done to the reputation of finger print biometric entry solutions over the last few years. There has been no guiding authority to set a benchmark on how the systems should perform, where they should be applied etc. The result has been a market flooded with cheap, and not very cheerful options, imported by distributors, and then sold on as the 'perfect' solution for secure entry to education facilities, clubs, hotels, warehouses and any number of application which may seek to control people entering restricted areas or just regulate the flow and 'clocking-on/off' of staff.

Yes the reputation of finger print technology for door entry systems has been smudged by poor quality products, sensors that can be fooled and hardware that wares out far too quickly, but the situation is changing. That's thanks to the forensic, and some may say obsessive, mission to develop reliable, proven and internationally endorsed finger print activated door entry systems by Devi Sohanta. Things are becoming clearer for the market in finger print biometrics.

Through Global Bio Tec and the development of the Connective Touch brand of finger print entry systems Devi has built a convincing case to buy British for individuals who need reliable restricted access to their super yacht through to multi-nationals and governments that want to advance their door entry security, improve facilities management efficiency and/or gather workforce data.

Connective Touch Flexi and Flexi Smart are manufactured in Rugby by Stadium Electronics and are approved by ACPO's Secure By Design Scheme, The Master Locksmiths Association and comply to DIN standards. The software for Connective Touch to manage and provide valuable data is Accredit UK approved.

Investigate for yourself and go to www.globalbtec.com