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Historical uses of biometrics

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Zagros View Drop Down
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Historical uses of biometrics
    Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 14:59
I have read in some cursory introductions to the subject of biometrics that it was used in different capacities by certain ancient and medieval cultures.

For example:

In Egypt biometrics such as height and facial characteristics (e.g. scars) were recorded and used to identify individuals; in China, ancient Babylon and Assyria, fingerprints were used to stamp business contracts.  I also read that int he 14th century, the Persians were the first to identify that fingerprints were unique to individuals.  In more recent history, a British colonialist in India used hand prints on contracts with native suppliers to reinforce the perception of the fact that contracts were binding.  It was this same colonialist that also later discovered that prints were unique to individuals and that was the prelude to the use of biometrics as personal identifiers.

I was wondering if any of our members here have read deeper into the history of biometrics and whether they can provide further enlightenment on the issue.

I look forward to any potential historical (or modern) based discussions on the issue.  Biometrics have business as well as security applications. There currently a scheme being pioneered in the US by a company called Pay by Touch through which consumers can make payments simply by entering a PIN and having their finger scanned.  Also in obscure places such as Guatemala and Pakistan, some bank ATMs are operating using finger print authentication.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 15:46
No bank ATM in pakistan uses fingerprint authentication. It is against the Banking Procedure Rules to use anything besides PIN or Password.
 
As for Biometrics, it is true the Persians knew that fingerprints were/unique as did other cultures. But the scientific study of the ridges and grooves and god only knows what was first done by the British.
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 15:58
I am in contact with a major global manufacturer of these techs and that is where I got my information from.   He said that the tech was already implemented with an Islam-abad based bank.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 16:14

I think he got that mixed up. There are a few banks (specifically MyBank) which are offering biometric bank accounts. An advantage is that a person can allow an account to be employed by family members, so a husband can allow a wife to access say upto 5000 rupees from his account, Signatures are too easy to forge. I spent most of the last two months doing banking consultancies, thing raises a lot of legal issues. ATMs are still unable to use this tech since the Banking Regulations forbid it.

 

There was an article on this somewhere.

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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 16:16
I think i am more likely in getting mixed up than him.

How does MyBank work (technologically) and which bank's pioneered it?

Cheers.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 16:28

Okay where is the blush button?

I am in the office right now and on a lark I asked my college and he showed me that
 
i) the relevant rule regarding ATM was deleted in July this year.
ii) The bank that undertakes Biometric ATM and other service is BankIslami not MyBank (though they are looking into it).
 
Here
 
 
I plead guilty to negligence! In my defence, it is now 9:27 pm Islamabad time and I have been at work since 7 (courts, clients and now the office).
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2007 at 16:33
Great, you had me worried for a minute. lol.
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Dec-2007 at 22:28
I'm surprised no one else has anything to contribute on this, I find the topic quite fascinating personally.
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