[ISN] When it Comes to Security, The Eyes Have it (biometrics)

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Aug 05 1998 - 15:47:40 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05at_private>
    By John Davidson.
    The world's largest maker of automatic teller machines, NCR, yesterday
    took the wraps off an ATM capable of scanning a customer's eyeballs, which
    could lead to a new generation of self-service financial products.  The
    ATMs, already deployed in a trial in the United Kingdom, were showcased at
    a conference in Sydney yesterday. They read the iris of anyone standing at
    the machine and match it with a database of customers to identify the
    Like fingerprints, the human iris is highly individual - even varying
    between left and right eye - and does not change over a lifetime. This
    makes iris-recognition technology ideal for security systems.  Mr Dan
    Milton-Hine, the general manager of Self Service for NCR's Financial
    Solutions Group, said the additional level of security afforded by iris
    recognition, as opposed to PINs, enabled banks to offer high-value
    transactions such as stocks and bonds, and even airline tickets, through
    The technology comes at a time when other advances in ATM technology are
    opening the way for further diversification of banking products. 
    High-quality colour printers, capable of printing such things as postage
    stamps, could see ATMs become the self-service focus of a number of
    previously unrelated goods and services. 
    Even ordinary banking would be simplified, because the iris scanner,
    sitting just above the ordinary ATM screen, took only two seconds to
    identify someone and was quicker than a PIN-based system, Mr Milton-Hine
    Iris recognition is expected to make big inroads into internet commerce,
    too, as a means of securing the weakest link in existing security systems
    - the user's PC. 
    Although the digital signatures used in internet security systems such as
    SET are considered secure for the internet leg of the transaction, experts
    have questioned just how secure the overall system can be if the bank does
    not know for sure who is sitting at the PC and invoking the signature. 
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