REVIEW: "Biometrics", Samir Nanavati/Michael Thieme/Raj Nanavati

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. BKBIOMTR.RVW 20031018

    "Biometrics", Samir Nanavati/Michael Thieme/Raj Nanavati, 2002,
    0-471-09945-7, U$34.99/C$54.50
    %A Samir Nanavati
    %A Michael Thieme
    %A Raj Nanavati
    %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
    %D 2002
    %G 0-471-09945-7
    %I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    %O U$34.99/C$54.50 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
    %P 300 p.
    %T "Biometrics"

    Part one deals with the fundamentals of biometrics. Chapter one
    presents a brief rationale for the use of the technology. Biometric
    concepts are given in chapter two, but only the most basic. In
    chapter three's look at accuracy there are standard metrics as well as
    a few unusual ones (and some non-standard jargon).

    Part two reviews the various biometric technologies. Chapters four
    through nine cover fingerprint scanning, face recognition (although it
    fails to cover the selection of skin areas, or the characteristics of
    eigenfaces), iris scanning, voiceprint, other physical factors (hand
    geometry, retina scanning, and an odd inclusion of the automated
    fingerprint identification system), and behavioral characteristics
    (signature and keystroke).

    Part three outlines biometric applications and markets. Chapter ten
    tries to categorize biometric uses and ends up being scattered and
    confusing. "Citizen-Facing Applications," in chapter eleven, turns
    out to involve law enforcement and government surveillance. Likewise,
    in chapters twelve and thirteen, "Employee-Facing Applications" refers
    to employee monitoring and "Customer-Facing Applications" drifts
    around some issues related to identity verification for commerce.
    Chapter fourteen presents law enforcement, government, the financial
    industry, healthcare, and travel as being vertical markets for

    Part four touches on privacy and standards, with privacy risks in
    chapter fifteen, designing biometrics for privacy in sixteen, and some
    proposed standards in seventeen.

    This text provides broad but superficial coverage of the topic. The
    non-standard terminology (verification instead of authentication, and
    false match rate rather than false acceptance rate) may be confusing,
    but the totally meaningless phrases (citizen-, employee-, and
    customer-facing applications) are probably even more so. While other
    book-length treatments of the subject are rare, it is difficult to see
    that this work adds much value to the discussion, especially compared
    with superior articles (such as "Biometric Identification" by Donald
    R. Richards, printed in the "Information Security Management Handbook"
    [cf. BKINSCMH.RVW]) which do.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKBIOMTR.RVW 20031018


    Computer Security Day, November 30
    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Nov 26, 2003
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